The Los Angeles Dodgers handed a well-deserved long-term extension to Clayton Kershaw earlier today (seven years, $215 million). One might assume that a contract in excess of $200 million would rule the Dodgers out of the bidding for Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to land a $100 million contract himself.
Apparently that is not the case, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 15, 2014
Earlier this off-season some thought that the Dodgers might choose not to pursue Tanaka because of money. In addition to Kershaw’s extension, they still have to look ahead to locking up Hanley Ramirez. That’s not even to mention some of the unfortunate decisions they have made in terms of money (signing Brandon League for $27.5 million, taking on Carl Crawford‘s contract). But with their rich TV deal in place, it sounds like they might try to pay Tanaka anyway.
Put it this way: if it does come down to an “ownership call,” does anybody have a doubt whether or not the Guggenheim ownership group will open up their wallets? If they can match the Yankees, it won’t be a surprise for the Dodgers to continue their mad spending and land Tanaka as well.