Los Angeles Dodgers are ready, set, and they are coming out swinging for the 2013 Major League Baseball season. In the NL West division, the Dodgers finished second with 86 wins and 76 losses, something they look to improve upon this season.
During the offseason months the Dodgers took full advantage of change. With all things coming to an end, Frank McCourt, chairman and owner of the Dodgers, left when the club was sold to a new ownership group. Amid the new ownership threesome is Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. This new ownership team made clear it was going to “spend big” in the off-season, buoyed by a new television deal with Time Warner, signing a couple key free-agent players, and signing extensions with past players. The Dodgers have the largest payroll in Major League Baseball, sitting at $220 million.
The real question: Can they turn money into wins? Picking up aces, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon League, Dodger pitching is at a surplus from the starters all the way to the backend of the bullpen. A.J. Ellis enjoyed a breakout season last year, leading the team with a .373 on-base percentage and Luis Cruz and Mark Ellis will fill out the lineup and should put up solid numbers. Because the Dodgers’ makeover came during last season, no major changes were made for the position players, with the exception of trading for utility man Skip Schumacher.
The Dodgers are clearly ready to do whatever it takes to win, and if their veteran players can come together as a team and they can avoid injury, all the pieces are there for them to be legitimate title contenders. With 90+ wins well within reach, PECOTA sets the Dodgers at 93 wins this year. The early indicators suggest Los Angeles is the favorite to win the West.
“Stars are shining bright in LA, and this offseason helped to align them for a strong run at October glory,” Chris Chrisman reported. “Happiness can’t be bought, but it can be rented. The Dodgers have the assets to be very happy in 2013.”
The Dodgers will play their first game in Glendale, Ariz on Feb 22. against the Chicago White Sox, who finished second last year in the AL Central.