The Dodgers continue to play in a fantasy world when it comes to signing top-tier players, expecting the intangible "mystique" of the organization to compensate for any monetary gaps in a contract offer. Well, guess who just took the money.
Can you blame Trevor Hoffman for taking the Brewers' $6M offer over the Dodgers' "$4M+" offer? Both were one-year contracts. What offer would you take?
It is ludicrous to think that Frank McCourt's shadow over this organization has an accretive impact on the mystique. In fact, he probably has given the Dodgers a negative impression as a "great place to work" or "a top-tier organization". And in the end, money talks a hell of a lot more than Frank and Ned's grandstanding.
Of course, Frank and Ned will be disappointed, as they thought their offer was fair. In fact, according to the LA Times, the Dodgers' offer hinged upon Hoffman valuing proximity to Southern California:
"He's got three young boys, so he could go home a lot more if he signs with Los Angeles," Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "That's what free agency allows a player to do -- pick where it's best suited for him to play."
Melvin saw this coming a mile away, so he offered more money. And he won the auction for Hoffman outright. $1-$2M can buy a lot of airline flights between Milwaukee and San Diego. But Hoffman had figured that out already.