Ned Coletti with a suitcase full of cash? This could be good. Jason Schmidt-good.
When the new Dodgers group—led by Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten—bought the team back in spring training, there were a couple of obvious, positive hints that good things were coming. One was the presence of the iconic Magic, who hasn’t stopped beaming his patented beam since they won the team.
Even better was the record $2.15 billion sale price, which accurately reflected the new group’s interest in owning and running the marquee franchise.
And now, all the sport watches with varying parts admiration, awe and fear as the new group attempts to reinvigorate the once-proud franchise and rule the sport. Their outlook regarding player acquisition is somewhat Steinbrennerian, though not any of the rest of their methods. The combination is proving perfect….
When Lee went on waivers last week, a vast majority of GMs surveyed by CBSSports.com said no one would have the loot and guts to claim him and risk taking a contract that, if accepted, would have committed any claiming team to nearly $30 million a year to an over-30 pitcher with two wins and an ERA close to 4.00. The numbers didn’t seem to add up. Many added, though, that if anyone did make that claim, it would be the Dodgers.
And indeed, it was. And they did.
They didn’t even hesitate. Their scouting reports suggested Lee was still an ace.
In their minds, Lee was next.
Colletti’s previous cost-conscious teams have been known for August pickups, like Marlon Anderson, Ronnie Belliard, Jon Garland, late-career Jim Thome and later-career Greg Maddux. But this was far different. This was a near nine-figure commitment.
Other owners watch with awe, and some with amusement.
“They borrowed $2 billion,” said one competing owner, referring to the insurance monies backing the buy. “So what’s another $100 million?”