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Dodgers president denies MLB mandate to cut millions in debt

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

There's nothing wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers' books, according to team president Stan Kasten.

The team is said to be facing orders from MLB to reduce "hundreds of millions" in debt after wild spending by new owners Guggenheim Baseball Management since buying the franchise in 2012, though Kasten publicly refuted that notion Monday.

"There is no mandate," Kasten told ESPN's Doug Padilla. "There is no problem with our debt and we continue to work on the same program we have been working on from the day we walked in here in 2012, which is to say we're working hard to build the best team we can for this year while being mindful of continuing to build the best pipeline of minor leaguers to the major leagues that we can."

A story from Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday stated the Dodgers are now facing the mandate following the end of a five-year grace period after a change in ownership.

Commissioner Rob Manfred, who told Shaikin he fully expected the Dodgers to comply with the debt service rule despite their spending, attempted to clear the air Monday by stating the franchise is not under an obligation by the league to reduce their expensive payroll.

"The commissioner's office works with all clubs to monitor compliance with the debt service rule. Non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance," Manfred told Padilla. "Clubs are evaluated on an ongoing basis relative to that plan. The rule is intended to ensure the financial health of clubs relative to their ability to service their indebtedness, not to influence decisions on the player market.

"There are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll."

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