Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and this year his name was Guggenheim Partners.
If you want to read the whole story behind Virginia’s letter to the New York Sun, I’ve posted it at my place in the past.
Update: Mark Saxon at ESPN LA has a good if brief timeline of the Dodgers’ 2012, from McCourt’s agreement to sell to the latest off-season move.
If, that is, the stories in the press (USA Today earlier and Sports Illustrated now) are accurate, and the Dodgers have indeed come to an agreement with Zack Greinke on a six-year, $147M deal.
It is the highest average annual value for a pitcher ($24.5 million) and the highest total value for any right-handed pitcher ($147 million). The Dodgers become the first National League club to exceed a $200 million player payroll ($210 million and counting for active players next year, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts)
I wonder what value they’re going to put on Clayton Kershaw when he comes up for a new contract. His deal calls for an $11M salary this year, after which he’s arbitration-eligible in 2014 and a free agent in 2015. Kershaw might say to himself (or to management) “Hey, I’m the ace of this staff and I’m only making half what the new guy’s getting. That’s not right.”
These extraordinarily deep pockets have to run dry at some point, don’t they?
Update: There appears to be some interest on the part of some teams in the American League in acquiring Andre Ethier. According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox,
the talks about Ethier originated from inquiries by two American League clubs, and that the Dodgers are not actively pursuing a deal.
The official adds that the renewed interest in Ethier stems from the shrinking pool of available hitters on both the free-agent and trade markets
The Dodgers have “zero intention” of trading Ethier, the official said, but will listen to offers. The discussions, to this point, have failed to progress.
Huh. Can’t see it, not after extending his contract for five years earlier this year.
Update: Elymania is no more. The young (26) pitcher has been traded to the Astros for left-handed Minor League pitcher Rob Rasmussen.
Rasmussen, 23, a native of Arcadia, Calif., and a former standout at UCLA, was the Marlins’ second-round pick in 2010. The Astros acquired him on July 4, 2012, as part of the deal that sent Carlos Lee to Miami. Rasmussen went 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012, and is 20-21 with a 3.88 ERA in 60 career games, including 53 starts.
It could be called a case of the Dodgers finally getting their man. Los Angeles selected Rasmussen out of Polytechnic High School in Pasadena, Calif., in the 27th round of the 2007 Draft, but he opted to go to UCLA.