Dodgers owner Frank McCourt still spending during divorce

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has assured the team’s fans that his impending divorce with his wife, Jamie, won’t discourage offseason transactions.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“I talk to fans too,” McCourt said in his first interview with The Times since it became public that he and his wife and former club president, Jamie McCourt, planned to divorce. “They’re very excited about the team. They’re very supportive of what we’re doing.”

McCourt declared the Dodgers are “headed in the right direction,” pointing to how they have reached the postseason in four of the last six seasons and settled on an organizational philosophy of building around a group of homegrown players.

McCourt said that his team’s lack of activity in the free-agent market should not be interpreted as a sign that his team is facing financial difficulties as a result of his personal situation.

“My divorce has no bearing on the club whatsoever,” he said.

McCourt’s statements come on the heels of two important transactions. Yesterday both Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Chad Billingsley avoided arbitration by signing contract extensions. Kemp will make $10.95 million over the next two years while Billingsley’s one-year deal is worth $3.85 million. Prior to the deals the Dodgers had only signed second baseman Jamey Carroll to a two-year, $3.85 contract this offseason.

Dodgers fans are definitely skeptical about the entire situation. If Jamie McCourt gets what she wants, she’ll walk away with half of the the team’s worth, making spending increasingly difficult. With things as they are, I’m amazed the Dodgers got Kemp that cheap. He’s easily the best outfielder (both offensively and defensively) in the National League and is entering his prime. However, the Dodgers now have to work with Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton, James Loney, Russell Martin, George Sherrill, and Hong-Chi Kuo, whom all filed for arbitration on Friday. With this money tied up, I’m sure they’ll have to part with a couple of these players.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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