The Dodgers Will Regret The Rich Hill Deal: Yet Another Injury Prone Chucker In The Rotation

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $193 MIL payroll - considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty - and an additional 40$ hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 90 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $204 MIL payroll – considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty – and an additional 45%  hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 95 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.  Because of the Rich Hill signing, it will make it tough to get back Justin Turner and land a Closer – without paying the maximum surcharges for payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

I don’t hide the fact that I have been a Dodgers fan for some time.  I have continuously ripped the past and present management for signing players that are injury prone.  For the last 4 years the Injury/Dead money the club has doled out has rivaled what some of the lowest payroll clubs on an annual basis.

So what do the brass do?  They ink a guy, who is 37, and could barely toe the mound for a handful of starts due to a blister, to a 3 Year Deal worth $16 MIL per year.  Didn’t they learn their lesson with the Scott Kazmir contract?  How about Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson or Bronson Arroyo?

This is not even taking into a factor all of the positional players and Relief Guys they have taken a powder on (hit the ground and dust flies up because of being knocked out).  The Franchise ate $41 MIL in 2013, $37 MIL in salary for 2014, $86 MIL in 2015, and $71 MIL in 2016.

For those scoring at home, that is a whopping $233 MIL in lost cash since the beginning of 2013, which was the Guggenheim Consortium’s first full year at the helm.

When you factor in some more penalties for exceeding the Luxury Tax Threshold, the organization is well over the $250 MIL mark in 4 seasons.  Now 2017 doesn’t look to be much different – with $47 MIL in dead money already on the board.

Carl Crawford ($21.9 MIL), Alex Guerrero ($7.5 MIL), Hector Olivera ($4.7 MIL), Matt Kemp ($3.7 MIL) and Jose Tabata (250K) are not even on the active roster anymore, yet they will see some serious coin paid out by the Dodger Blue.

The Dodgers are also paying guys $10 MIL to play in the Minor Leagues.

Rich Hill has only logged 610.1 IP career to his name heading into 2017. He logged just 110 Innings last year, which was the 1st time he had eclipsed 100 Innings since 2007 with the Chicago Cubs. The better maneuver here would have been to start the season with what you had, then effectively pull the trigger on a trade midway through the season for a #2 or #3 Starter - using some of your better assets.

Rich Hill has only logged 610.1 IP career to his name heading into 2017. He logged just 110 Innings last year, which was the 1st time he had eclipsed 100 Innings since 2007 with the Chicago Cubs. The better maneuver here would have been to start the season with what you had, then effectively pull the trigger on a trade midway through the season for a #2 or #3 Starter – using some of your better assets.

There is no doubt that Rich Hill was the best Starting Pitcher on the market, but the Dodgers based on the new CBA, should  have let him walk.

By blowing $16 MIL AAV on the 2017 payroll already, the Dodgers project to his $204 MIL in total team salary – with only the guys they have on the current roster.  This excludes replacing Closer Kenley Jansen and 3B Justin Turner from last year.  If they want to get these guys done, they would push the payroll to over $235 MIL already in salaries.

Basically, the Dodgers will still pay a $20 MIL fine on that for being $40 MIL over the 2017 Threshold over $195 MIL – as 3rd time plus abusers over the limit, and an additional $2.5 MIL hit for the 12.5% surcharge on spending $20 – $40 MIL over.  This would put the club at $257.5 MIL.  They better pray for no key injures among their core lineup – something that has plagued the franchise for several years.

Despite the club winning 4 straight NL West, combined with 2 NLCS Appearances. the squad has yet to reach the World Series for the 1st time since 1988.  This is something that should have happened spending out over 1 Billion Dollars on player salaries for the last 4 seasons.  Unfortunately more than 25% has been in dead money.

For every dollar the team spends afterwards, they would kick 95 cents in kickbacks to the Threshold.  Los Angeles would still need to build a Bullpen – and also sign an effective 2B.

Rumors are they are in to trading for Brian Dozier.  This definitely makes sense with him only making $15 MIL over the next two campaigns despite being a prolific offensive force.  Unfortunately, this will automatically double for 2017 in salary if the Dodgers spend more than $235 prior to his acquisition.

I firmly believe the Dodgers should just trade for Dozier, and then peacemeal their Bullpen, and stay around $215 MIL on the books until halfway through the year.

Once they are in position to qualify for the playoffs again – something that should happen with the level of talent they possess, coupled with a weaker division and league one you get past the Giants/Nats/Cubs and Cardinals, and then you could go hog-wild in dealing for players.

Near the All- Star Break, you would only be on the hook for half of the 2017 salaried year.  In essence you can acquire players that are double the player as you can this winter – since you only are paying a half of years cash out.  The Luxury Tax Threshold is always a factor now.

All you have to do is look at how subpar Scott Kazmir was in 2016 – to see you should be a little bit more wary of signing another similar pitcher like Hill. 

The Dodgers can only hope both LHP can rally around to be the Starters they are at their peak.  Both Lefties have spent significant time out of the big leagues, including playing Independent Baseball.

I understand the need to spend money on Free Agents, but really with these 2 guys making a collective $32 MIL a year for the next couple of seasons, they would have been better of to have signed Zack Greinke ( who was 51 – 15, with a 2.30 ERA and 1.027 WHIP during his tenure in LA, before signing for a $34.42 AAV with the Diamondbacks last year as a Free Agent. )

Funny enough Rich Hill's new pact looks eerily similar to Scott Kazmir, who also signed on the dotted line for 3 YRs/$48 MIL prior to the 2016 season. Kazmir, (then heading into his Age 32 season) came off a split season in 2015 between the A's and Astros. The southpaw toted a 2.38 ERA and 1.085 WHIP in 18 Game Starts - spanning 109.2 IP. Hill carried a 2.12 ERA, with a WHIP of 0.997, over 20 Game Starts - spanning 110.1 IP - between the A's and Dodgers last campaign. For the record, Kazmir rewarded the Dodgers (note sarcasm here) - with 4,56 ERA and 1.357 WHIP in 26 Game Starts and 136.1 IP for the 2016 year. Kazmir now has a 4.01 ERA and WHIP of 1.348 for his career. Hill has a 4.37 ERA and 1.286 WHIP for his time in the Majors thus far.

Funny enough Rich Hill’s new pact looks eerily similar to Scott Kazmir, who also signed on the dotted line for 3 YRs/$48 MIL prior to the 2016 season. Kazmir, (then heading into his Age 32 season) came off a split season in 2015 between the A’s and Astros. The southpaw toted a 2.38 ERA and 1.085 WHIP in 18 Game Starts – spanning 109.2 IP. Hill carried a 2.12 ERA, with a WHIP of 0.997, over 20 Game Starts – spanning 110.1 IP – between the A’s and Dodgers last campaign. For the record, Kazmir rewarded the Dodgers (note sarcasm here) – with 4,56 ERA and 1.357 WHIP in 26 Game Starts and 136.1 IP for the 2016 year. Kazmir now has a 4.01 ERA and WHIP of 1.348 for his career. Hill has a 4.37 ERA and 1.286 WHIP for his time in the Majors thus far.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

Posted on December 6, 2016, in Free Agency, MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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