Dodgers spending money at record clip

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti keeps throwing money at Don Mattingly's roster. (Getty Images)

As noted elsewhere in these CBS pages, the Dodgers recently agreed to terms with reliever Brandon League on a three-year, $22.5 million deal with a vesting option for 2015. That's a great deal of money for a reliever who's been pretty unremarkable by reliever standards.

The League deal, of course, comes after the in-season spending spree that saw general manager Ned Colletti re-up with Andre Ethier and then take on a shiek's ransom in contracts via trade. Let's put it in perspective ...

At this writing, the last out of the World Series was, oh, 48 hours ago, and already the Dodgers have committed $188.8 million in payroll for 2013. To put a finer point on it, that figure would've ranked second to only the Yankees coming into the 2012 season. As well, the Dodgers have spent all that dough on just 18 players. Heck, they already have more than $135 million bound up for 2014.

It's even possible the '13 Dodgers will become the first non-Yankees team since the 1998 Orioles to have the highest payroll in the league. As for those Yankees, they're presently just shy of $150 million, but they've spent that on just seven players. So it'll be a tight "race" to see who winds up with the higher payroll. Also within obvious reach is the 2005 Yankees' record for highest opening-day payroll in baseball history: estimated to be $208,306,817. If the Dodgers spend more than $20 million this offseason while staying ahead of the current pinstriped model, then they'll seize the record (not that said record is anything you want to be seizing).

Meanwhile, note that the Dodgers are in a division that also houses the reigning champs, a tough, high-upside team in Arizona and a "stealth contender" in San Diego. As such they might wind up with something else in common with the Orioles of the late 1990s/early 2000s: a very expensive path to failure.

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