California Dreamin'

Sizing up the seismic off-season moves in Los Angeles
December 24, 2012

The Angels and the Dodgers made huge splashes in the free-agent market last week—and will carry huge payrolls (and hopes) next year as a result. So, after all that money spent, how do the two stack up?


Signed best free-agent pitcher on the market, righthander Zack Greinke, to a six-year, $147 million deal. BIG DEAL Signed best free-agent hitter on the market, outfielder Josh Hamilton, to a five-year, $125 million contract.
Greinke has had just one Cy Young--caliber season (2009, when he won the award). Could be just shy of ace level. CAVEAT Hamilton's a recovering addict with relapses on his record who has also lost time to injury and endured long slumps.
2013: $208 million in commitments to just 21 players. $600 million committed to players for 2014 and beyond. COST 2013: $114 million for 12 players. $500 million in future salary commitments stretching as far out as 2021.
Division favorite, but ... no leadoff man (unless Carl Crawford gets healthy and embraces role). Imbalanced, with commitments to eight starting pitchers but a journeyman infield. STATUS Division favorite, but ... rotation drops off steeply after Wilson and Jered Weaver. Bullpen's patchy. Lower part of lineup weak. Farm system empty at the upper levels.

BOTTOM LINE: The Dodgers have more depth from which to trade and a younger core. After all the spending, it's the Dodgers who will be the next L.A. team to win the World Series. Exactly when that happens is another question.