PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Braun grew up a Dodgers fan, and his reaction to Los Angeles' blockbuster trade with the Red Sox went like this: "You see something like that flash across the screen and you're like, 'Yeah, right,'" Braun said. "This time of year, there's a million rumors. Those are huge names, huge contracts." This was no rumor, it was real.
"It's pretty amazing," Braun said. "I don't remember a time like it in L.A. sports history. The Kings won a championship, the Lakers just got Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, and the Dodgers just picked up $500 million in salary for seven All-Stars." He was exaggerating about the Dodgers' additions, but not by much. The team that traded for former All-Stars Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino in July completed a trade on Saturday for more -- All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, plus Nick Punto. The Dodgers also picked up about $260 million in payroll obligations. The Red Sox got first baseman James Loney and a package of prospects: infielder Ivan DeJesus, Jr., right hander Allen Webster and two players to be named, plus payroll relief. "I think the motivation for that deal, to be completely honest with you, it's that [upcoming Dodgers] TV deal," Braun said. "That's going to be a monster TV deal. That's why the Angels signed Albert [Pujols], and [the Dodgers' deal] is going to be bigger than we've ever seen. It's going to be a crazy influx of cash." It highlights one of the Brewers' biggest challenges: One of baseball's least lucrative television contracts. According to the New York Times, it pays less than $10 million this season but will triple beginning with a new deal that runs from 2013-19. Compare that to teams like the Angels and Rangers, who recently signed 20-year, $3 billion broadcast rights agreements, according to reports. That works out to about $150 million per year. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, a former Dodger, noted that the Dodgers will also reap revenue from extra ticket sales in the wake of their trades. "I think when you have a lot of money like they have, and you buy the Dodgers, and you want to win, spend it," Roenicke said. Of the Brewers' challenges, Roenicke said, "It makes us have to be smarter with what we do, and it can work. You see the Tampa Bays, and Oakland this year. It can be done. It's got to be a lot more fun to do it that way, rather than just sign whoever you want." Braun smiled when he saw the highlight of Gonzalez's three-run home run in his first Dodgers at-bat. "That's Hollywood, man," Braun said. "What would you expect?"