Fans hoping the Los Angeles Dodgers are about to make a major splash in free agency may need to temper expectations.
A document prepared for potential investors reveals that the Dodgers plan to keep their player payroll below the competitive-balance luxury tax threshold for the next four seasons, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The projections in the document outline the Dodgers' plan to have a payroll of $185 million for both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, which would have them comfortably beneath the $206-million threshold. The team's payroll would then rise to $191 million in 2021 and $196 million in 2022 under the plan. L.A. spent $195 million in player payroll for 2018.
The Dodgers have been linked to free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, who's expected to command a substantial investment. The 26-year-old rejected a reported 10-year, $300-million contract from the Washington Nationals late in the 2018 season.
L.A.'s current payroll, per Baseball Reference, sits just north of $132 million before arbitration with a projected payroll afterward of $180.7 million, leaving the team little wiggle room. Several key players, including shortstop Corey Seager and outfielder Joc Pederson, are bound for arbitration this offseason.
If the Dodgers stick with their projections stated in the document, their activity in free agency will be limited unless other changes are made to reduce payroll.