The new management tried to make a run for the playoffs last season, it just came too late.
They saw how the Angels were throwing money around in town, so they felt that they needed to get on their level.
The Dodgers were one of the most active clubs during the trade deadline.
They saw that the Red Sox were having a yard sale and they were there bright and early.
Boston shipped 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Carl Crawford, SP Josh Beckett, and OF Nick Punto to LA for 1B James Loney, SP Ruby De La Rosa, OF Jerry Sands, SP Allen Webster, and SS Ivan De Jesus.
It was quite the shake up that also included the likes of Shane Victorino coming in from Philadelphia, Hanley Ramirez from Miami, and Brandon League from Seattle.
In a short period of time, the Dodgers completely re-vamped their team and tried to give it a go.
Needless to say, the experiment didn’t work.
They retain a majority of those pieces, and continue to build upon it this offseason.
The Dodgers were aggressive once again in the free agent market by upgrading their pitching staff.
They brought in Zack Greinke and and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Greinke has been traded all around the league in the past couple of season with Kansas City, Milwaukee, Los Angeles (Angels), and now took a short trip to join the Dodgers.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is an interesting acquisition.
They saw how the Rangers brought in Yu Darvish the previous offseason, so it was a matter of going through the motions to bring in their own player from overseas
The only difference is Ryu is from the Korean-league.
It’s one thing to bring in a player from overseas, but it gets ridiculous when you have to pay just to talk with the player.
He was a career 2.80 ERA southpaw over seven seasons in Korea, that cost the Dodgers $61.7 million.
It was $25.7 million just to talk to him.
Pretty steep translator fee.
If Ryu is anything like Darvish, he could have a fast start out of the game, but could go through some growing pains.
The Dodgers are hoping that he is going to be like the first half version of Darvish, not the second half dismal breakdown.
You can never tell how players from overseas will transition, but Ryu will have an easier path as the number four starting in the rotation.
Now that the Dodgers have had a full offseason to build team chemistry, they have to the favorites to win the NL West.
Not to discredit the Diamondbacks or Giants, but the Dodgers are coming with a lot of talent.
Let’s take a look at just how big of a force they can be…
DODGERS PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Mark Ellis 2B He’s old, he only hits .260, and he’s not a fantasy asset
2. Carl Crawford LF Couldn’t stay healthy last season, was a .300 hitter before his 2 seasons in BOS, not going to hit a lot of home runs, but will steal a ton of bases, generate runs/rbi’s, elite bounce-back candidate that you can get at a discount price this season
3. Matt Kemp CF The fact that he missed 50 games and still had a better season than an average OF that played a full season is all that you need to know, .300 hitter, 25+ home runs, runs/rbi’s near the 100s, top 5 draft option
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B Hit a career-low 18 home runs, but should bounce back this season. He’ll be a .280-.300 hitter, can get you 100+ rbi’s, his run totals should also be in the neighborhood, elite 1B option on draft day.
5. Hanley Ramirez SS He had flashes of brilliance at times last season, in both MIA and LA, but this guy is the ultimate head case. He plays when he feels like it, he was unmotivated in Miami, but could turn around things with the Dodgers. He’s still an elite option by default, based on what he COULD bring to the table, so keep those factors in mind
6. Andre Ethier RF He was overpayed early in 2012, but is still a solid option to enlist. He’ll bat .280, get you 20 HR’s, and can get you 80+ runs/rbi’s. View him as a solid outfielder option on draft day.
7. Luis Cruz 3B Mid-season call-up last season that is capable of hitting .290 and double digit home runs with a full season. Could offer late round value.
8. A.J Ellis C He’s not exactly the rising star, at the age of 32, plus his career high 13 home runs don’t impress anyone.
1. Clayton Kershaw He might be the best pitcher in baseball. He’s led the league…THE LEAGUE, in ERA that past 2 seasons, he can get you 220+ strikeouts, and he has the best supporting cast he’s ever had. No.1 pitcher in the draft.
2. Zack Greinke He could be the ace of the staff if Kershaw wasn’t on the team. Will get you 15+ wins, doesn’t lose a lot, does sport a 3+ ERA, but can get you 200+ strikeouts. He’s a top 10 SP on draft day.
3. Josh Beckett All fantasy owners know about the Beckett pattern. One good year, one bad year. Well now it’s just gone to just plain bad. He’s a second tier pitching option on draft day.
4. Hyun-Jin Ryu In 7 seasons with the Korean league, he sported a 2.80 ERA. He’s a southpaw with a ton of potential. Like Darvish in 2012, you can get him in the mid rounds based on your peers’ skepticism. High upside, but as many transition players, high risk.
5. Aaron Harang He’s in the no.5 spot for a reason, can still be a decent option, but nothing that you need to consider in the early or middle rounds anymore. Post draft pickup.
RP-Brandon League He posted 37 saves in Seattle during the 2011 season, he had a 2.30 ERA in the 28 games he played with the Dodgers. Got a major stock boost in coming over to the Dodgers, top 5 closer option.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is one of the biggest question marks going into the 2013 fantasy season. Do you invest a lot in him or do you allow him to fall to you? He will be compared to Yu Darvish throughout the season, but he’s actually in a better situation than Darvish: He’s playing in the NL, he’s the number 4 pitcher, he has strong run support, and he’s a lefty. The advantage of playing in the National League is the fact that the pitchers bat in the lineup. In most cases, you can almost count that as an automatic out. Darvish had to play not only in the tougher AL West, but the American League in general. Ryu comes into a situation where he doesn’t have to be the savior of the team. The Dodgers do expect a lot from their $61 million investment, but they’re looking for him to be the third best pitcher on staff in the best-case scenario. Ryu is worthy of being taken in the middle rounds, but he should not be overlooked.
Brandon League benefited the most from being traded to the Dodgers during last season’s trade deadline. This is a guy that went from converting 37 saves in 2011 to being a quality setup man in 2012. The most impressive thing about those stats, was that he put up those number in Seattle! League did struggle slightly in 2012, losing his closer job to Tom Wilhelmsen. Now that he’s moved to the National League, has a way better rotation to work with, and has great run support, League is ready to bounce back. The Dodgers surprisingly didn’t blow out opponents with their vaunted lineup, so there should be no worries about the amount of save opportunities that he will have. League lost some draft value in owner’s minds after losing his job in Seattle, but he sported a 2.30 ERA after being traded to LA. Keep him on your radar, as he is set to be a top 10 closer in 2013.