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Dodgers leading rest of MLB into uncharted payroll territory

January 15, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson welcomes new pitcher Zack Greinke at a news conference at Dodger Stadium last month.
Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson welcomes new pitcher Zack Greinke at a news… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

One year you’re the economic laughingstock of baseball, the next its most feared financial juggernaut.

Consider it Part XIV in a continuing series.

So now comes this: The Dodgers’ payroll increase for 2013 is so enormous, it’s dragging the rest of baseball with it into uncharted fiscal territory.

Yahoo Sports estimates that Major League Baseball’s opening day payrolls will rise 7.1% this season to $3.15 billion, topping $3 billion for the first time – and that more than half of the increase will come from the Dodgers alone.

At a projected $213 million, the Dodgers’ 2013 payroll will be more than double the estimated $95.1 million that the team's 25-man roster began last season with, Yahoo says.

The Dodgers are expected to have the highest payroll in baseball, surpassing the New York Yankees ($210 million). The Dodgers and Yankees are in a financial league of their own, with the next four highest projected payrolls coming in at $158 million (Phillies), $152 million (Angels) and $150 million (Red Sox and Tigers).

A year ago, of course, the Dodgers were in bankruptcy court and still owned by Frank McCourt. Now the Guggenheim Baseball Group has gone on a massive spending spree in its attempt to bring the Dodgers back to quick baseball prominence.

They added more than $500 million in salary commitments before signing right-hander Zack Greinke to a $147-million contract last month. And they are pouring an estimated $100 million into stadium improvements this off-season.

After the Dodgers, Yahoo says the teams with the steepest payroll increases next season will be the Blue Jays (52.3%), the Nationals (38.9%), the Reds (30.2%) and the Royals (28%).

ALSO:

Dodgers' J.P. Howell could earn $4.6 million this year

Dodgers' Vin Scully steals show at scouts fundraiser

Jerry Hairston Jr. will retire if Dodgers win the World Series

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