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Dodgers at around $233 million for 2013 but can add more

Dec 8, 2012, 11:10 PM EDT

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says “word is” the Dodgers may try for “another big free-agent starter.”

And it’s pretty easy to believe those whispers.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers have $210.1 million in salary commitments for 2013 and will pay another $22 million in luxury tax (for a total sum of $233+ million). But their new 25-year local television contract with FOX Sports West is going to bring in over $240 million per season and so they’re still — as amazing as it might sound — operating with great comfort financially.

The Cardinals, for comparison, make under $30 million annually from their television rights deal with FOX Sports Midwest, which is locked in through 2017. Their player payroll in 2012 was just over $110 million.

The Dodgers could sign Anibal Sanchez, or Kyle Lohse, or finally work out an agreement with Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin, knowing full well that the club will still be highly¬†profitable. Big national television money is coming, and Dodger Stadium hosts three million fans practically very summer. Then there’s the high-dollar revenue from things like merchandise, concessions and parking.

Handing a record-breaking free agent contract to a guy who’s not even an ace seems crazy, but it simply isn’t for the Dodgers. And they’re not done yet.

118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. omniusprime - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    I certainly hope that the Dodgers get a good return on their in vestment, but looking at last season as a guide all these high priced players didn’t produce enough to even get into the playoffs. As a Dodger fan I like that the team now has some money to invest in better players, after those deadbeat McCourts stole so much wealth from the organization and brought us such crappy teams. Just insane how much these overpaid, overhyped prima donnas get paid. Go Dodgers!!!

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Well, those overhyped, overpaid prima donnas are the ones that generate 100% of baseball revenue, and baseball revenue is all that is used to run baseball teams. There isn’t a single owner that uses his/her own money to run a team….just owners that are willing to make a little less money…and every owner makes more money with his baseball team than any player makes during his career. Even horrible owners like McCourt walk away with 100s of millions of dollars in their pockets after “buying” a franchise on credit.

      • forsch31 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Funny, but when Albert Pujols changed teams, I didn’t change with him. While yes, we go to see the players play, we also root for the *team,* and ultimately that is what is generating baseball revenue–our allegiance to the team itself, which for most people is far important than the name on the back.

        Far too many players are not worth their contracts. The Dodgers have several of them.

        And what evidence do you have that no owner ever uses his his or her own money to run a team? Yes, every owner should make more than the player–they’re the ones who are actually taking the financial risk and are responsible for more than just themselves. And when the risk becomes too great for them, they’ll cut costs, because they’re not running a charity. Ballplayers love to talk about how this is a business; why is it surprising that when owners do the same?

      • paperlions - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        …but it is the players talent you go to see…and it is the players talent that generates all of the revenue for the teams, the fact that you consume player talent in team units is irrelevant to what it is that generates the revenue.

  2. mojosmagic - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I don’t understand what’s going on with the Dodgers but even with their TV deal the math doesn’t add up because the new owners paid 2 billion for the team and have to service that debt. Somewhere along the way the shit will hit the fan and will hear the Dodgers are in trouble. In any case they are running a baseball team like a basketball team and that won’t work.

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      The didn’t borrow any money to buy the team.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      According to other source the Dodgers were paid for in Cash, there is no debt to service.

  3. iamjimmyjack - Dec 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I cant wait for Guggenheim to buy us our own NFL team. You know its coming! Thanks Guggenheim!

  4. jl9830 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    For the record, any Dodger fan that used to bash the Yankees and is now excited is a hypocrite.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      For the record, Dodger fans bash the Yankees for being the Yankees, not for payroll.

    • stercuilus65 - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      For the record anyone bashing the Dodgers is just jealous.

  5. cavemanna - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    As a Dodger fan who just went through the no money having McCourt years, I can honestly say I’m enjoying this. From a fans perspective……spend, spend, spend!!!

  6. norcaldeportes - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    In related news: Dodger stadium is still a dump, and ticket prices are about to go way up. You better hope they win or this experiment could get ugly real fast.

    • davidpom50 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Meanwhile, in the world of Things that Are True, Guggenheim is already pumping major cash into refurbishing the stadium (which still has some of the best views and game sight lines around) and ticket prices were actually cut for next season.

      Nice to see Giants fans are so worried about the Dodgers that they can’t even enjoy their WS win.

      • richyballgame - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Well.. I’ve spoken to people who’ve been to loads of parks over the summer,and they agree that PNC park is probably the best,and I’m not even a Pirates fan,but I’d love to go there.

      • Brinke - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        Um..I’m here in the SF Bay Area and believe me, I’m enjoying out SECOND title in THREE years.

        Money can’t buy chemistry in the clubhouse.

        Seeya 4/1—our latest ring ceremony is 4/7.

    • jl9830 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      This guy’s getting downvoted, but he’s not wrong. This could fail spectacularly. We’ve seen many times that you can’t buy championships.

      • davidpom50 - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        Actually, he’s completely wrong about the stadium and ticket prices. That’s why he’s getting down voted.

  7. muskyhunter2542 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I hope so bad for failure.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Mission accomplished, at least in your case…

  8. sidelineshot - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    What is FOX Sports West going to do about the ballpark being half-full after the 5th inning?
    The Dodgers may have to hire sit-ins to wait in the parking lot and then come in to fill the seats.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Whether or not they come late and/or leave early, the fans still bought the seats.

      • sidelineshot - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:31 AM

        Was refering to the view of empty seats

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        The Dodgers draw 3 million+ fans a season, winning or not. Fox knows this and is willing to pay large for the broadcast rights.

        The Dodgers have drawn less than the average in baseball ONE TIME since they moved to L.A. in 1958. In the last decade they’ve average a million more than the league average.

        The L.A. Dodgers have never had less than a million in attendance in their history. They drew 2 million in just their second season in L.A. and 3 million in 1978, versus a league average of just over 1.5 million.

        The Dodgers drew 3.7 million (or more) in ’06, ’07, ’08, and ’09 with the cheapskate McCourt in the owner’s suite. They were the first to draw 3 million and they’ll be the first to draw 4 million.

      • yanksownsox - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Manchestermiracle you are so off about the attendance records.
        The Yankees have already broken the 4,000,000 threshold 4 times.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2005

        Check out 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 (which if you notice, the METS broke the 4,000,000 mark)

        I understand you are excited about getting more fans to the game, as you should be, but at least check the records before you make some claim of being the first to do something, when there have already been two teams to do it, and 1 of them has already done it FOUR times.

        … One upped by the Yankees once again :)

      • sidelineshot - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        That’s not my point. I was thinking about the sight of empty seats on tv.

  9. barroomhero80 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Don’t vagiants fans have anything to do other than troll and bitch. Chumps

    • sabatimus - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      At least we know where you posted this from.

  10. mojosmagic - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Even on a all cash transaction the investors want to see a return on their investment of 2.2 billion. Can’t blame Dodger fans for being happy with the new ownership group after suffering with the McCourt crooks.

  11. mybrunoblog - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    The Yankees were harshly criticized for years about their huge payroll. A deeper look into their teams of the 1990s and early 2000s shows that Pettitte, Jeter, Posada, Williams , Rivera and a few others were all home grown. Martinez, Oniell, Girardi,Cone, Fielder, Clemens, and others were acquired by trades. Saying the Yankes built a team with $ is not quite correct. They supplemented through free agency……the Dodgers are BUILDING mostly through FA…..Huge difference.

    • davidpom50 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      The Dodgers have a few home grown stars, like Kershaw and Kemp, but years of neglecting the farm under MCourt has left the cupboards bare. The team is also investing heavily in building their scouting department.

    • jolink653 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      The late 90s Yankees were a combination of great farm talent and well-scouted free agent pickups or trades…They didn’t buy players back then like they started doing in 2001 when they signed Giambi and then went out year after year and brought in too many overpaid players…Truth be told, I want them to go back to developing talent because it’s rare to see good young players coming up through the system to the team without being traded or not developing correctly…I was excited to see Ajax and he got traded, same thing with Montero

  12. chc4 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    This will lead to the next lockout/strike.

  13. nicosamuelson2 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Do you think the Dodgers could cover my bartab? It’s not even noon so it can’t be that much really

  14. tredav111 - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I don’t understand why people talk shit on the dodgers they never spend money like this ever and it’s about time a big market team like the dodgers spend this money on quality players the fans deserve it. Especially after the McCourt debacle.

  15. norcaldeportes - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Looking at 2013 ticket prices is short-sighted and ignorant. Go take a look at Yankees ticket prices, that’s where the Dodgers are headed (assuming they ever make the playoffs again).

    • davidpom50 - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      Based on what? There will always be cheap seats available for any non-sellout game at Dodger Stadium because it has the highest capacity in the Majors. Huge supply keeps prices low. You can usually find seats on Stubhub for under $10.

  16. fenianblastard - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Ill bet Kid K cant wait to become the “Anti Weaver” after he saw this above avg “Righty” get all this loot.. Kershaw is gonna get the biggest contract ever by a LHP when he is eligible.. That is if he remains dominant/healthy.. Greinke may cry playing in a rowdy AT&T Park in a pennant race, so we shall see..

  17. fm31970 - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    $240M/year, just for TV rights, really puts the Haves and Have Nots into perspective. I guess with revenue sharing in place the less profitable teams will still make money, and I can’t knock an owner for wanting to make a profit at the end of the day, but I get the sense their will ultimately be a price to pay in terms of diminishing fans in the next ten years or so.

    Times (financially) are clearly very good in MLB, but I’m not convinced that translates into a better sport for fans. World Series Championship trophies are nice to display, but they don’t equate to profits. No idea how MLB is eventually going to reconcile that one, if they even want to.

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