In 2014 the Dodgers are finally done paying off Manny Ramirez's huge contract.
Remember when Mannywood took off in Los Angeles? It was August of 2008 and Manny Ramirez basically conquered LA in a matter of months with some of the best baseball that fans had seen in years.
At the end of the season he became a free agent, and everyone was clamoring for the Dodgers to give the superstar whatever he wanted.They ended up settling on a deal worth $45 million and two years that off-season.
The Dodgers regretted that contract, but at least now they are no longer paying it off. The 2014 season is the first since that $45 million deal that they will not be cutting a check to Ramirez.
After agreeing to the deal the Dodgers watched as the superstar tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs, spiraled downward in production and was eventually traded away. It was an ugly sequence of events.
In order to move him the Dodgers had to cover the remainder of his contract. It was a hefty sum, so they agreed to defer the money and pay him over the course of several years, ending with last season.
It's what many in the business call "dead money," and for good reason. The Dodgers were paying Ramirez years after he was gone, simply so he would just go away.
He made over $3 million in 2013 without putting on a jersey. It was even worse in 2012 when the Dodgers shelled out a whopping $8 million for his non-services.
The Dodgers used to defer money on big contracts like it was no big deal. In 2013 they committed $20 million to players who were no longer with the team.
Another awful contract the Dodgers are still paying off belongs to Andruw Jones--remember him? His two-year $36 million dollar deal was also a complete bust.
Jones was released after his first year with the Dodgers, and they have been paying him close to $3.5 million since. After the 2014 season, they will have finally paid off all the deferred money in Jones' deal.
It is these big-money deals like Ramirez and Jones that make you wonder if the same thing will happen with any of the Dodgers current superstars. If Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford get traded they will surely have to cover some of their money left in their exorbitant deals, and it will likely be deferred.
So while Dodger fans may not feel a Mannywood-size weight off their shoulders, there has to be relief to finally cutting the ties to that relationship completely.
Here is a deferred-money fun fact. At least the Dodgers do not have any 20-year commitments like the New York Mets, who will be paying Bobby Bonilla just over one million dollars until 2035!