Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trade Done! The Times, They are A-Changin'!

We have just entered a new Dodger era.

At this moment, I am still in shock that this deal was done.  I had been conditioned to believe that this kind of thing doesn't happen to us.  Save that short period when NewsCorp owned the franchise, we had never been a team willing to take on huge amounts of salary.  Instead, we were the frugal franchise.  Now.... Well, anything seems possible.  For better or worse, this team has taken on a new persona, and I must admit I'm a little giddy about it.

Do we have an unlimited amount of cash to work with?  Of course not.  But we are a franchise that is no longer afraid to pull the trigger, and this change has got to get every Dodger fan excited, if not engaged with the team at a level we've never experienced.  Instead of dreaming of getting this guy or that guy, we can now safely assume that we are in play for anyone.

Wow!  Being a Dodger fan has really changed.

The trade for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford has been completed.
(twitter link)

And, our new "Boys in Blue" are heading to LA as we speak.  It is anticipated that A-Gon will be in todays starting lineup.
(twitter link)

Via Nick Punto's twitter, we get a photo of the new Dodgers heading towards LA.
(twitter link)

As you can imagine, plenty of folks have chirped in with their views and opinions.  Below is just a sampling:
The big prize for the Red Sox is all the freed-up payroll, but the trade was not just a pure salary dump. Webster and De La Rosa have the potential to be impact big leaguers and both Sands and De Jesus should be able to carve out a niche at the Major League level. Three of four prospects figure to see time with Boston next month, and Webster should be in consideration for a job at some point next season.
For the Dodgers, this trade puts them even more fully into "win now" mode, while putting more gaps in the farm system.
Winners: Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and the rest of the Dodgers' ownership group

In less than four months, these owners have managed to completely rebrand the franchise, and, even if the Dodgers don't make the playoffs this year, they've set themselves up for a major bounce forward in attendance and interest and team success in 2013. The city might throw them a parade even if they don't win the World Series because, ding-dong, the Frank McCourt era is over.
Per the collective bargaining agreement, any payroll over $178 million in 2013 (and over $189 million in 2014) will be taxed. First time offenders, which the Dodgers could be, get popped at a 20 percent rate for any amount over the threshold.
 In fact, the deal looks somewhat bizarre from the Dodgers’ perspective, according to rival executives. As one asked Friday night: Why didn’t the Dodgers just do Gonzalez for Webster and De La Rosa?
That leaves us with the Dodgers. Along with officially purchasing the team back in May, the new ownership apparently also picked up a copy of How To Build A Winner by George Steinbrenner, circa 1984. The new ownership group has given the front office a seemingly blank check, and assuming they take on all future obligations to the trio from Boston, they’ll have spent approximately $420 million on player acquisition in the last three months, and they haven’t even locked up Clayton Kershaw yet. 

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