How rich and wild are the Bums right now? They’ll take bad-to-awful Red Sox contracts, such as Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, just to get Adrian Gonzalez as part of the trade. They’ll take Hanley Ramirez’s salary off your books and hope he turns into the player of 2010. Ever heard of Yasiel Puig? He’s a 21-year-old Cuban defector. The Dodgers paid him $42 million.
Despite two Cy Young winners in their rotation and five multi-time all-stars in their lineup, few think the Dodgers are finished for this winter.
What was good enough a week ago may not suffice now. The Giants, Reds, Cardinals, Phillies, Braves and Nats are faced with a team that has swallowed $850 million in future contract obligations and hasn’t even belched. The crosstown rival Angels got the Greinke-Ryu memo and quickly shocked the Rangers by signing hard-miles Josh Hamilton for 125 million risky bucks.
What was a poor contract, an overpay, a holiday bauble, such as a third year on a free agent deal for Adam LaRoche, a Gold Glove first baseman with 33 homers and 100 RBI, might look like a sensible competitive necessity now.
In fact, if Kasten’s former bosses, the Lerners, and the general manager he hired for Washington, Mike Rizzo, could listen to Stan, they might want to offer that third year like, maybe, tomorrow and close the deal by dinner, because stunned, depleted Texas now needs a free agent lefty power bat.
The Dodgers’ grabs only underline the dawdling irresponsibility of Commissioner Bud Selig in allowing the Nats to be held hostage to Orioles owner and MASN owner Peter Angelos for a full year (and counting) beyond any reasonable deadline for settling their dispute over the value of the Nats’ local TV rights.
MLB anointed a three-team fairness committee to study the issue — interminably. According to a reliable source: “Baseball has ruled on it. Both sides didn’t like the valuation. Washington hated it.” Who didn’t know that in advance? So the time was mostly wasted. Thanks.
Now, MLB has asked a private investment bank to seek potential new owners for all of MASN, which would, in theory, take Angelos out of the picture. What a great idea, Bud — for 18 months ago.
For now, the most likely potential buyer would be Fox. Would Angelos sell? Normally, I’d say no, or only under threat of “best interests of the game” powers that Selig is loath to use for fear of a court case that might prompt Angelos to go all Al Davis and embarrass MLB with dirty laundry.