Zack Greinke, part of a top tandem with Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers last year, left via free agency.
Brandon McCarthy, who pitched in only four games for L.A. last year, will start the year on the disabled list.
Never fear, though, the Dodgers have stocked up on depth for their rotation by signing Scott Kazmir and Japanese star Kenta Maeda. No one yet knows how Maeda will do in the big leagues, but the Dodgers have Alex Wood in reserve as well as Mike Bolsinger. This is a very deep starting staff even with Greinke's departure. And they'll need that depth with Brett Anderson having back surgery. Anderson won't be back until at least midseason.
Offensively, top prospect Corey Seager, who hit very well in a 27-game audition for the Dodgers last year (.337/.425/.561, four homers in 98 at-bats), takes over at shortstop. This will be a massive improvement over the departed Jimmy Rollins. Howie Kendrick appeared gone as a free agent, but late in the offseason he re-upped in L.A., so the only real change in the Dodger lineup will be Seager playing full time. It'll be interesting to see what the Dodgers do with Chase Utley, now that Kendrick is back in the fold.
A big question is what to make of Joc Pederson, an excellent defensive center fielder who started out great offensively last year but had such a horrid second half (.178/.317/.300 with just six homers in 62 games after the All-Star break) that you wonder how long he holds on to the job even with good plate discipline (92 walks in 2015).
Also new in Los Angeles is manager Dave Roberts, who replaces Don Mattingly, who went off to manage the Marlins. (Good luck, Don. You're gonna need it.) Roberts has never managed, though he spent several seasons as a coach for the Padres, replacing Rick Renteria as bench coach there when Renteria became Cubs manager in 2014. Roberts is highly regarded, but expectations for playoffs are high in Los Angeles. This puts him under pressure. We'll see how he handles it.
Most Dodger fans in Los Angeles still won't be able to see much of this. The coverage area of SportsNet LA is up to 40 percent of the L.A. market from 30 percent, but obviously that leaves a lot of Dodger fans out, and the channel angered some by recently announcing they were cutting back on spring-training broadcasts.
If the Dodgers win and no one can watch it, did it really happen?
Finally, legendary broadcaster Vin Scully has announced 2016 will likely be his last season. He'll be missed by not only Dodger fans, but all of baseball. He's said he very likely will travel to San Francisco to broadcast the Dodgers' final regular-season series against the Giants, but otherwise will only do games in southern California (Dodger Stadium, Anaheim and San Diego).
The Dodgers and Cubs will play a four-game series at Wrigley Field May 30 through June 2, and the Cubs travel to L.A. August 26-27-28.