Thursday 8 March 2012

2012 Previews: Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw! Kemp! Nothing else!

The Majors
Frank Mccourt should be sent to jail for murdering this organization.

Beyond Kershaw and Kemp, this team is pretty much just a big abandoned shed of old yard-sale eligible Nintendos and bikes and lawnmowers.  I honestly don't think they have any intention of contending for the next two years while they rebuild this club and settle their ownership issues, but they're following through with that plan in a pretty expensive way: they signed Aaron Harang, Mark Ellis, Adam Kennedy, Jerry Hairston, and Chris Capuono to deals taking them through the 2013 seasons this past offseason (not to mention re-signing Juan Rivera for $4.5MM and giving Juan Uribe 3/$24MM last year).  It's hard to justify being this bad and having a payroll of $120MM, but they've got some trade candidates in Andre Ethier and James Loney if they can stay healthy, plus any of the aforementioned names could turn in to something at the trade deadline with a decent season.

The Minors
They really need to develop some prospects over the next few seasons.  They have a lot of really good arms in the system to complement Kershaw, Kenley Jensen, and Javy Guerra, but it appears as though their lack of depth in position players could hold them back.  Again, they should have some chances to move guys like Ethier for prospects, plus some people could develop from the 2010 or 2011 drafts to look better going forward.

The Verdict
Going forward, they should be able to rebuild fairly quickly once their ownership situation gets resolved, thanks to the fact that they're the Dodgers, steeped in tradition and whatnot.  They play in a great big market that can sell a bunch of tickets and support a payroll that will be competitive enough to make up for any major holes on the roster.  They need to lock up Kershaw long-term.  If they do, they've got their core locked up and can easily toss aside any old scrubs that are in the way.

Projection: 73-89, 5th place in the NL West

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