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Snag May Benefit Dodgers
2003-12-17 06:52
by Jon Weisman

The players' union has rejected proposed changes to Alex Rodriguez's contract that would enable him to be traded to Boston. This may make it impossible for the deal to go through before Major League Baseball's deadline of 3 p.m. PST Thursday.

If that trade falls through, that would presumably end the Red Sox' plan to send Nomar Garciaparra to the White Sox for Magglio Ordonez. In that case, the pendulum swings back in the Dodgers' favor; they would become Chicago's principal outlet to unload Ordonez' contract.

Of course, Ordonez may never become a Dodger no matter what - reports are spreading that neither Dodger general manager Dan Evans nor White Sox GM Kenny Williams wants to give in to the other, due to the fact that they were once both candiates for Williams' job. Whatever happens, I again say that this is less about Ordonez specifically than about how the pending ownership change may affect Dodger offseason plans for years to come.

Dodger Thoughts reader Bill Simms, in an e-mail responding to my morning post, noted that by 2006, a lower payroll becomes less of an issue for the Dodgers, because the Shawn Green and Darren Dreifort contracts expire by then. (Here is a new link to a website, Ahead of the Curve, that details the Dodger contract commitments.)

Simms is correct, if the Dodgers have the young, low-paid talent ready to take the reins. However, if they trade it all away prematurely, then the team will face the prospect of having to overpay in two years to be competitive. This market correction we are now seeing won't last forever.

Again, if there a payroll cut is coming in 2005, the Dodgers have to decide whether 2004 is an all-or-nothing year. Some would say "nothing ventured, nothing gained," but personally, I hate the idea of all-or-nothing years, because nothing is too easy to come by.

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