The Dodger Beast seemingly lurks at every turn.
The latest concern for rival clubs stems from the stunning spring-training performance of outfielder Yasiel Puig — and not simply because the Dodgers’ $42 million investment soon might like a bargain.
No, rival executives are concerned that Puig’s ascent eventually will help the Dodgers secure other top prospects.
How?
By pushing the Dodgers to trade one of their expensive corner outfielders, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier, and secure additional young talent by paying most of that player’s contract as part of the deal.
In other words, the Dodgers not only can outbid teams for stars, but also can buy their way out of mistakes and come out ahead. And, at a time when teams face new restrictions on spending for both domestic and international amateurs, the Dodgers’ financial might could give them a huge advantage in amassing top prospects.
Such moves would be perfectly acceptable under the collective bargaining agreement, provided that commissioner Bud Selig determined that they benefited both clubs from a baseball perspective.
And why wouldn’t he?