Count ESPN among those who are not actually particularly concerned about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2016 outlook.
In a brilliant article written by Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com, there was talk about how the Dodgers certainly came out of this offseason looking a little worse for wear, but they’ve still managed to patch it together enough to be the class of the NL West yet again.
And, to be honest, it’s hard to disagree with that premise when you consider the organizational depth that they have now.
Until then, the Dodgers appear content to aim for 90 to 95 wins rather than 100. Maybe it works out yet again? I think everyone is underestimating this team — the roster depth from No. 1 to No. 40 is probably the best in the majors, even if Kershaw is the only real big star (maybe Seager develops into one). It’s kind of a unique way for a big-market team to operate, and maybe they end up regretting not signing Greinke or David Price, but I think they’re still the team to beat in the National League West.
It’s hard to argue with this. The depth on the team is pretty darn good. It beats a lot of the other contending teams in the National League, that’s for certain.
Schoenfield also went on to talk about the job the front office has done since their arrival:
But Friedman and company inherited a lot of bad contracts. He managed to trade Matt Kemp; in two years, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier come off the books. Maybe that’s when he goes after the big names — you know, right about when Bryce Harper becomes a free agent.
That’s probably the play from the front office. Keep payroll down just enough so that they can spring for a ton of unrestricted free agents during the great offseason that 2018 should be.
Whether or not the Dodgers win their fourth straight division title might be up to debate for some, but apparently not over at ESPN. With a frontline ace the likes of Kershaw, the emerging talent pool from the minors, and the pitching depth overall, it’s definitely possible to see why they would be the team to beat in their own division.