Over the last several years, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ management team of owner Frank McCourt and general manager Ned Colletti have utilized the deferred contract option as a tactic to bring in numerous big name players with highly valued contracts—without paying much up front.

Looking back at several of the players who were still part of the Dodgers payroll in 2010, and who will be receiving paychecks from McCourt into the future, there’s no doubt that many of the deals have failed miserably.

There’s no way of telling exactly what position Frank McCourt is in financially, and just to be competitive, the club may be forced to continue to back-load contracts and pay players deferred cash long after they leave Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, as the 2010 campaign came to an end, some relief began to appear. Six players who were on the team payroll this season, yet never suited up in Dodger Blue, have finally received their last paycheck from Los Angeles. Now, these funds can finally be utilized to fill in a number of gaps on the player roster.

Left-handed starting pitcher Ted Lilly was recently signed to a three-year, $33 million deal, and although the contract was back-loaded, surprisingly no deferred payments exist that will need to be made once the contract expires. This could be a positive sign for the Dodgers, as Colletti and McCourt finally may be realizing how costly several of these deals actually were.

Still, the offseason is young, and the verdict is out on McCourt and Colletti. It’s already been announced that the team payroll will be increased, but it’s unknown by how much. Yet it is possible that with all the right moves, the Dodgers may find themselves in a position to improve upon a very dreadful year.

The following slides show all nine players who weren’t part of the team in 2010 yet still received paychecks signed by McCourt. Several are finally cleared from the payroll, and while a few will continue to be paid into the future, there is a bit of relief in sight in terms of overall dollars. 

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