Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Arbitration Fallout: Randy Wolf

Are the Dodgers in a terrible, horrible, no good financial state because they did not offer Randy Wolf arbitration yesterday? Apparently not. Take it away, Ned Colletti:
"The decision by the Dodgers not to offer arbitration to pitcher Randy Wolf or any of their other free agents Tuesday should not be viewed as a sign that their uncertain ownership situation is affecting them financially, General Manager Ned Colletti said.

"Our decision was made strictly from a baseball perspective," Colletti said.
Wolf was arguably the Dodgers best pitcher last season and one of the premier free agents on the market. It seemed to be a no brainer to offer Wolf arbitration given his 2009 performance, the number of teams thought to be pursuing Wolf, and there was virtually no chance that Wolf would have accepted arbitration from the Dodgers given how much of a lock he is to land a multi year contract.

If this is truly just a baseball decision, then this shows me that the Dodgers don't believe that Randy Wolf will be able to duplicate his performance. If they honestly thought that Wolf was as good as his performance was this season, then they would have had no problem paying $10-$12 million in 2010 for a front line starting pitcher. But because the Dodgers do not view Wolf as a #1 or #2 starter, they opted to keep their payroll flexibility instead of potentially committing a large salary to Wolf in the unlikely event that he accepted arbitration. As a result, the Dodgers will not gain any draft picks if another team signs Wolf. Bummer.

From Wolf's perspective, this has to be great news. He is now set to fully capitalize on a career year now that teams do not have to surrender any draft picks to sign him. Wolf is one of the only top free agents that will not require draft pick compensation to sign, which immediately makes him more of a commodity on the market.

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