Unless something dramatic occurs at the McCourt divorce trial, it's very safe to say that Frank McCourt will maintain control of the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into 2011. Even if Jamie finds herself on the winning end of Judge Scott Gordon's decision, it's quite possible that the appeals process could take up to several years, which would leave Frank in control indefinitely.
With Frank as chairman, the budget structure is likely to be similar to what the Dodgers utilized this year. It could be slightly less if Frank intends to make some type of an effort to reverse the overwhelming debt that he and his wife have brought onto the club over the past five years.
In the offseason, General Manager Ned Colletti will be faced with a number of very difficult decisions. Outside of the number of players who are eligible for arbitration, it's conceivable that Colletti may be willing to deal several players to address numerous needs if the team does indeed have any shot at improving.
The trade market this winter may be difficult for Los Angeles, as a handful of Dodgers players may have seen their trade values drop as a result of poor performances in 2010. Colletti will be the chief orchestrator of putting together the squad for next year, and it will be no easy task considering the free-agent market is about the slimmest it's been in recent past. If there's no value in potential trades, the free-agent market could be the best option to improve, but payroll dollars will need to be freed up first to make any big market acquisitions possible.
In order to create the dollars to spend, the Dodgers will need to say farewell to at least a few players, whether it be by non-tendering a player, trading a player, or losing in arbitration.
The following slides show seven players Los Angeles may decide to move before the beginning of next year, and explain why these particular moves would be beneficial for the Dodgers moving forward.