The Los Angeles Dodgers are the team all the other teams fear this Winter. No organization has the same financial freedom as the Dodgers do, not even the mighty Yankees. Other teams can spend, but when it comes right down to it, 29 teams have a budget and then there are the Dodgers.
So, when the Dodgers are targeting a player, you can bet they become the instant favorites to sign that player. Money is no object.
This off-season, the Dodgers are on the lookout for upgrades to their starting rotation, which gets a little thin behind Clayton Kershaw. Their top targets, according to Jon Heyman, are a pair of right handers in Anibal Sanchez and Hiroki Kuroda. Surprisingly, that list did not include Zack Greinke — an omission that surely draws a sigh of relief from all those teams bidding for Greinke’s services.
Sanchez will be a hot commodity and has already been linked to the deep pockets of the Tigers and Red Sox. He does come with a steep asking price of six years and $90 million. I don’t think he’ll have a problem getting the $15 million per year he’s looking for, but most clubs would balk at the idea of giving any pitcher a deal of that length.
The same problem doesn’t come with Kuroda, who is said to be fine with a one-year deal. Like Sanchez, Kuroda is highly sought-after and possibly more so. Kuroda has had great success both in the National League with the Dodgers from 2008-11 and then in the AL East with the Yankees last year. A deal upwards of $15 million is probably in order, but on a short-term contract that number looks more palatable than Sanchez at five or six years.
Kuroda could still opt to return to Japan, as he is said to want to finish his career in his homeland. At age 38, the end is coming sooner rather than later. Given his recent history, however, you have to think he’s got at least a couple good years left in his right arm.
The Dodgers are hopeful that at least one of those years come back in Dodger Blue.