Stop me if you have heard this one before, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are spending a lot of money in 2013 and not seeing expected results. This is, unfortunately, an obvious and frustrating reality for fans in the City of Angels.
However, consider the makeup of this roster. Some players are not performing to their ability. Others are simply overpaid, either because they have aged or because they were given too much money compared to their actual production and value.
Picking an overpaid team is obviously tricky because there may be some players that are doing “well” but are still compensated above what they should be paid. For better or for worse, the new ownership group has given plenty of people generous contracts, as well as traded for some guys that others teams were happy to shed from a financial standpoint.
With that in mind, here are a few players that fit onto the overpaid team for a variety of reasons.
Salary: $17 million
Stats: 0-5, 5.19 ERA
Beckett is the poster child for an overpaid former star who is an eyesore on a roster that is not producing. Truthfully, the Dodgers should not have taken Beckett from the Boston Red Sox. Why do I feel like the Dodgers had to take Beckett if Boston was going to do this deal?
Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier
Combined Salary: $33.8 million
Stats: .270/2/17 (Kemp), .264/4/15 (Ethier)
Matt Kemp is just not producing up to expectations. Andre Ethier was rewarded with a contract that was not a wise choice by management. Perhaps Kemp will rebound and live up to the hype, but Ethier is unlikely to produce $85 million worth of offense in the next five years.
Hanley Ramirez & Zack Greinke
Combined Salary: $36.5 million
Stats: Four games (Ramirez), Four starts (Greinke)
Call this the all-injured section of the all-overpaid team. You don’t necessarily blame a guy for being hurt, but when there is this much money on the disabled list, it is hard to ignore. Perhaps Ramirez will return and start producing. Now that Greinke is back, maybe the investment will start paying off. We’ll see.
Adrian Gonzalez & Carl Crawford
Combined Salary: $42.7 million
Stats: .309/4/30 (Gonzalez), .302/5/13 (Crawford)
I know what you are going to say. Why am I picking on the two guys that are actually hitting? Simple. They are still overpaid. No, I am not just making a philosophical statement about salaries in professional sports, though with these guys I could. The Dodgers are just paying almost $43 million for nine home runs. Crawford isn’t getting the RBI and Gonzalez isn’t putting balls in the seats.
I could go on. Ted Lilly. Chad Billingsley. Brandon League. Juan Uribe. It is not hard to find guys on this roster that are making good money but not producing.
According to spotrac.com, the Dodgers are actually committed to paying over $232 million in 2013. At the moment, there is almost $47 million in payroll on the disabled list.
$232 million for a last-place team.
Again, you can’t blame guys for getting hurt. However, in the long run that trade with Boston along with the generous contracts that have been handed out by new management have created this situation. The payroll number is very large, and obviously aspects of this team are simply underachieving.
However, when you dig a little deeper, it isn’t hard to figure out that certain parts of this team just aren’t that good. There is a correlation between teams that spend a lot of money and playoff appearances. Perhaps this team will build some momentum and start winning.
Unfortunately, we already knew this simple reality: Money cannot buy championships.
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