Whenever I hear people talking about the Dodgers signing Bryce Harper, it normally goes in a couple of directions. Most people would love for the Dodgers to ink the superstar outfielder. There are others who are not for this. I usually ask why and sometimes I get a very humorous response. Why shouldn’t they add Harper? That’s what I ask. The response I get is something like “Because he’s too expensive!”, Or “They would have to spend money!” God forbid a large market team with the deepest pockets in the game, the most resources and largest payroll spend money and act like a large market franchise.
For the record Harper is still a free agent, and the mystery of where he’ll be playing in 2019 rolls on as the calendar turns to January. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times has an interesting article about this topic. I always found it funny that people think the Dodgers should spend less money. As if the team’s finances are their own personal finances.
Look if the Dodgers payroll ends up being 800 million dollars in 2019, I wouldn’t care. As a matter of fact the Dodgers finances have absolutely zero effect on my life. And they have no effect on yours as well. The money is not ours. So why should we care if the team spends or doesn’t spend?
The reason we care if the team doesn’t spend is because as Hernandez posited in his latest piece, we want the Dodgers to acquire the best players on the open market. We want the Dodgers to bring in the top players. Certainly they’ve brought in good players, but they haven’t signed a marquee free agent since Andrew Friedman and his band of small market men rode into town. It’s been somewhat frustrating.
Will the Dodgers continue to operate like a small market franchise? Will they continue to scrimp and save and cut costs, reducing payroll every year. Meanwhile the rumors of them being in on every major free agent infiltrate the headlines. The informed fans know the real story. We know how the Dodgers really operate and we know by now that the Dodgers won’t be adding any major free agents. The fact the Dodgers even spent 25 million dollars on reliever Joe Kelly was a surprise.
I could end up being wrong and the Dodgers end up signing Harper. I don’t mind eating some crow. Friedman’s first marquee free agent signing being Harper would be a PR bonanza for the club. Everyone including myself would love it. I would rather be wrong and see Harper wearing Dodger blue in 2019 then be right and not see the Dodgers go after the top players.
Whether they sign Harper or not, they have other problems to figure out. They still don’t have a starting catcher, second baseman and right fielder. Spring training is now about five weeks away from camps breaking. How long are the Dodgers going to wait to address those issues on the position player roster? The start of the 2019 season is looming. The clock is ticking.
Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
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