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Do the Dodgers' new owners already have MLB running scared?

April 02, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain, left, won't be hitting the free-agent market after this season; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto probably won't either.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain, left, won't be hitting the… (Marcio Jose Sanchez, Mark…)

Of course, it could just be coincidence or simply the smart thing to do. Anyway, it is smart.

Still, fairly amazing news Monday afternoon that two of the Dodgers’ main perceived free-agent targets for the coming offseason were both removed from the menu within hours of each other.

If Dodgers fans are uncertain if the team’s new owners will spend big, it is very possible the rest of baseball already believes.

The Reds, who many thought would trade star first baseman Joey Votto rather than pony up big time, are reportedly close to signing him to a multiyear extension.

And the Giants announced shortly afterward they had signed right-hander Matt Cain to a five-year, $112.5-million deal. That’s a record for a right-hander. And it probably didn’t distraught Tim Lincecum, who can become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Just like that, two of the biggest potential free-agent pieces for the new Dodger ownership group to build possibly around are gone. Stan Kasten has barely had time to develop a Plan A, and he already needs to move on to Plan B.

This is where we repeat, the Dodgers sold for a record $2.15 billion to Guggenheim Baseball Management, which promised it would continue to spend to return the team to prominence.

I’m thinking the rest of the league is taking that threat seriously. And just possibly responding accordingly.

Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels is suddenly in a very sweet position. Just about the lone star free agent in waiting. At the moment.

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Do Dodgers' new owners already have MLB running scared?

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