The Guggenheim Baseball Management era is officially under full swing. At the introductory press conference earlier today, Kasten told Steve Dilbeck
that he will be flexible with payroll, putting an end to the talk of money being tight after the new ownership group spent a record setting $2.15BB to purchase the franchise.
“I expect moving forward it’s going to be north of where it is now,” Kasten said. “But I have to tell you, I never focus on a target in getting the 25 guys....So focus on the players that we get and don’t worry so much about the payroll. I don’t have a set number for you because we’re not going to do it that way. We’re going to take every opportunity that we can. If that means increasing payroll, then that’s what’s going to happen.”
According to Molly Knight
, "Can't give you a (payroll) number, but we'll be in on every major free agent," said Kasten. A free agent group that could include Josh Hamilton
, Miguel Montero
, and Mike Napoli
. Buster Olney
thinks the Dodgers’ new owners could pursue the impending free agents next winter, and I don't see why you can't throw Cole Hamels
, David Wright
, and Kevin Youkilis
in there should they hit the market as well.
Kasten, the new CEO says winning cultures start “with scouting and player development," Bill Shaikin tweets
. Scouting and player development huh? What a brilliant idea! Is that how you run a baseball team? Who would've thought? This is such great news, especially from a guy with the track record of Stan Kasten. It appears the Dodgers will likely renew it's interest in the market for Latin American players, according to Buster Olney
. So again, Kasten is wasting no time in getting down to business. The team was practically asleep at the wheel when it came to Latin American imports during the Frank McCourt regime, but the Dodgers have a history of star-caliber Latin American players, more notably Carlos Santana
and Adrian Beltre
So with all that squared away, what about the now? Well Kasten and Magic are buckling down and rolling up their sleeves already. It's reported the Dodgers are nearing a deal with free agent Bobby Abreu
. They are also rumored to be preparing to work on extending impending free agent Andre Ethier
to a long-term deal. Then of course there is the news that Magic Johnson officially announced that the Dodger Stadium parking
has been lowered from $15 to $10. Dodgers should have the financial flexibility to pursue trades aggressively this summer, and after hearing the news from today's press conference, it's pretty fair to say that Dodgers payroll is likely to see an increase this winter.
A couple random side-notes for you lovers of randomness, Magic Johnson invested more than $50MM according to Yahoo's Tim Brown
. I had seen this number originally rumored when the sale was first announced
, but with so many numbers flying around, and a lot of contradictory statements were being made at the time. So for you information gurus out there, there's the number from one of the most reliable sources in the business. For what it's worth, Magic officially took over Frank McCourt's former office down the left field line. Much more fitting don't you think?
Finally my favorite quote of the year so far, from Magic Johnson, who else? "Frank is not here.” “He is not part of the Dodgers anymore. We should be clapping for that."