While they haven’t made a signature move during the 2014 off-season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will head into the next season as World Series favorites. An offense that features stars such as Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and hopefully a healthy Matt Kemp coupled together with a rotation that features Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke makes them the team to beat.
This off-season, they’ve brought J.P. Howell and Brian Wilson back in the bullpen while Juan Uribe was re-signed to clog up third base while Dan Haren, Chris Perez and Jamey Wright were signed for the rotation and bullpen. With all of this, the Dodgers ranked second behind the Detroit Tigers as best team in baseball via Buster Olney of ESPN.com:
But even if they don’t land another pitcher — Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza or David Price — they’ll have an excellent pitching staff, and of course, the money and the motivation to get better and address holes during the regular season. One GM said that when you consider building a championship team, you have to factor in an additional 5 to 10 percent: The amount of money you can take on to fill needs that develop through injury and unexpected performance lapses. The Dodgers certainly have that.
To Olney’s point, the Dodgers were able to take on all of Ricky Nolasco’s deal when they traded for him in June, which allowed them to part with lesser prospects. They also signed Wilson to a one-year deal in late July, helping to stabilize a bullpen that saw then-closer Brandon League blow several games early in the season.
However, if they’re able to land Tanaka or trade for Price, the Dodgers would likely surpass the Tigers as best team in the majors. There are those that believe the Dodgers have reached their spending limit, but also the school of thought that they’ve been quiet in order to allocate their resources to adding a high-profile starter.
Whether people believe the Dodgers are the best or second best team in baseball, there’s no doubt they’ll be a World Series contender in 2014.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Chris Perez agreed to a one-year deal