When the ownership group that included Magic Johnson bought the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this season, we were warned that it was bad news for the other teams in the National League West. The Dodgers would now spend money like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, luring big name free agents and buying their way out of patience and development towards instant gratification.
If you were not persuaded that was true by the post-deadline trade they made for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford (and his albatross of a contract), and Nick Punto (don’t forget Punto!), then maybe this news will convince you that the Dodgers are willing to throw money around.
That would be $22.5 million over three years for Brandon League, who struggled so mightily in the closer’s role for the Seattle Mariners that they removed him and were only so happy to move him at the trade deadline to make room for Tom Wilhelmsen. Bear something in mind: he had been moved to a set-up role for the Mariners, and the Dodgers acquired him to be a set-up man. Near the end of the season he closed out of necessity because of an injury to Kenley Jansen and converted 6 out of 6 save opportunities. Still, the accelerated pace at which he moved from set-up man to emergency closer to franchise closer embodies just how recklessly we can expect the new Dodgers’ leadership to spend money.
League does sport a shiny blue glove and a number of eye-grabbing tatoos on his arms. So the Dodgers have that going for them as they spend piles of money now and think about it later.