This involves writing off some pretty substantial contracts:
- Reliever Brian Wilson, designated for assignment Tuesday, is owed $9.5 million for 2015.
- The Dodgers will pay the Miami Marlins $12.5 million to take starter Dan Haren off their hands.
- They will pay the San Diego Padres $32 million over the next five years to take the contract of outfielder Matt Kemp.
Add it up, and those three moves mean the Dodgers are paying $54 million so Kemp. Haren and Wilson will play for somebody else.
$54 million is roughly the equivalent of the largest free-agent signing in Twins history (Ervin Santana).
And that, I think, is the real advantage of the "unlimited budget" teams. Not merely that they can dole out giant contracts, but that they can blithely trash the money if they decide the deal isn't working for them.
In the book Moneyball, Billy Beane is described as treating the Yankees and Mets and other large-market teams as piggy banks when working trades: Shake them until the money falls out. The Dodgers seem to be a pretty generous piggy bank right now.