It’s been six months since the Los Angeles Dodgers last played a meaningful game and after half a year of heartache, they embark on another 162-game journey with World-Series aspirations.
Drastic changes in the front office and to their roster created plenty of intrigue for Opening Day, which historically draws a wealth of attention on its own. The anticipation was multiplied tenfold after the Dodgers and San Diego Padres completed a blockbuster trade that sent Tim Federowicz and Matt Kemp down Interstate 5 in exchange for Yasmani Grandal, Zach Eflin and Joe Wieland.
Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully hasn’t been immune to the excitement as he recently told of a vision he had with Clayton Kershaw on the mound and Kemp at the plate in an RBI situation. As such, Monday’s game pits two teams who were among the most active during the offseason, which was a sentiment held prior to Sunday’s shocker.
Adding to his reputation as a general manager that does not rest, A.J. Preller made another splash by trading for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton (formerly B.J. Upton).
The Padres’ latest move comes months after they sent shockwaves throughout baseball with multiple transactions that netted them Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton, among others. There’s also the four-year, $75 million contract given to James Shields, who is the Padres’ Opening Day starter.
Whereas the Padres may again be dominating headlines, the Dodgers certainly begin the year with reason to be optimistic. Their revamped middle infield lived up to the billing during Spring Training and Joc Pederson put together an impressive camp.
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