Know Your Enemy: Los Angeles Dodgers

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers have a lot of money. Can that translate into a lot of wins? We'll find out this year.

You've heard about the Dodgers' huge new local TV deal, which should net them something north of $200 million a year when it goes into effect. That, along with their national TV money and whatever they get from ticket sales, should allow them to have a nearly-unlimited payroll in future years.

The recent history of baseball is littered with teams that spent like the proverbial drunken sailors, and failed to win anything. Just ask the 2007-08 Mets about that. Or, in fact, last year's Dodgers, who took hundreds of millions of dollars of contract off the hands of the Red Sox, but failed to even make the second wild card.

They've added even more money to the payroll this year with the signing of free agent Zack Greinke. This, along with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett and Korean signee Hyun-Jin Ryu, could give the Dodgers a rotation that could rival the Giants' in the NL West. They have so many starters that Chris Capuano, who had a good year for them in 2012, ranks sixth on their depth chart and former Cub Ted Lilly, coming back from injury, ranks eighth.

They'll have a full year of Adrian Gonzalez, although A-Gon declined significantly in 2012. He is still just 30, so that could be just a blip. Will Carl Crawford return to his Tampa Bay level of performance after two awful, injury-plagued seasons in Boston?

The bullpen is revamped from last year, with former Blue Jay and Mariner Brandon League taking over as closer for a full season -- he had six saves for LA after they got him from Seattle last summer -- with Kenley Jansen behind him. Jansen was scheduled to be the closer last year, but got hurt. If he's healthy, the Dodgers will have a solid bullpen behind that solid rotation.

Really, with all this money spent and all that pitching, the Dodgers have a good shot at dethroning the Giants in the West. That's always been a good rivalry and it's likely to heat up this year.

The Cubs and Dodgers don't meet until August; they'll play four games at Wrigley August 1-2-3-4, then at Dodger Stadium August 26-27-28.

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