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MLB salaries: Dodgers to shell out $269 million

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MLB salaries: Dodgers to shell out $269 million

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles DodgersAndrew Friedman, who never had a player payroll larger than $77 million during his nine years with the Tampa Bay Rays, finds himself with riches beyond his wildest imagination at his disposal as president of baseball operations with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers will have a $230 million opening-day payroll, but they also are paying a net of $39 million to players no longer with them, making their total outlay $269 million. Their expenditures easily outpace the $213.5 million payroll of the runner-up New York Yankees.  The Dodgers have four players earning more than $20 million this year, led by MVP Clayton Kershaw’s $31 million salary, and 11 players earning at least $10 million – including three no longer with the team.

They are paying more money to just three players – Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Adrian Gonzalez – than the rosters of Tampa Bay and Houston. The Dodgers also are paying $43.5 million to players not on their team. They’re paying $18 million of Matt Kemp’s $21 million salary with the San Diego Padres; $12.5 million to the Miami Marlins for Dan Haren ($10 million) and Dee Gordon ($2.5 million); and $13 million to released pitchers Brian Wilson ($10 million) and Chad Billingsley ($3 million).

That’s hardly offset by the $5 million they’re receiving from deals with the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies for Carl Crawford, Gonzalez and Jimmy Rollins, leaving them with a net $38.6 milllion in dead money. They’ve overtaken the Yankees as the fat cats on Wall Street, and with $330 million coming to them each year alone from their $8.35 billion Time Warner deal, the Dodgers could probably have a $400 million payroll, and still turn a profit. Certainly, there’s no need to apologize, not after winning back-to-back NL West Division titles. Yet, they’ll continue to spend freely until they win that first World Series since 1988, and become a consistent juggernaut.