Just one season removed from near extinction, the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to accomplish something they have not done since 1988: Win a World Series.
In 2011, Major League Baseball became informed that Dodger ownership was in financial turmoil. After trimming the fat and reorganizing the front office, the 2012 team looked a lot different than in years past. This past off season the Dodgers took nearly 60 million dollars off their payroll. That's more than the entire Athletics team salary with about 5 million to spare. Piecing together their roster with low cost veterans and youth led to a healthier Dodger bottom line.
Perhaps the Dodgers felt that they had pressed their luck long enough. Day after day running out low priced, worn down veterans like Adam Kennedy, Juan Uribe and Bobby Abreu. Possibly the team looked to improve on it's near bottom of the league in runs scored stat. Nevertheless, at the deadline they added more pieces to the puzzle. Key pieces. Big pieces.
The Dodgers acquired All-Star outfielder Shane Victorino from the Phillies and back-end reliever Brandon League from Seattle. Victorino, eligible for free agency after this season was a salary dump for Philly. For LA, the lead off spot will no longer be a weakness. Leadoff man Dee Gordon has struggled and is currently on the disabled list. This of course is after the Dodgers acquired All-Star infielder and bomber Hanley Ramirez along with reliever Randy Choate from Miami. The former was a move that changed and bolstered the middle of the LA batting order. This will prove to be a huge upgrade form the revolving door of third baseman they had previously been using.
If you're scoring at home, that's 2 former All-Stars and 2 back-end relievers arriving in LA. Their lineup now has a leadoff speedster and a middle of the order threat. These are two guys who can steal a boat load of bases and hit a few homers in the process.
With the rival Giants struggling for offense, and their biggest bat down, the time is now for LA. With these new pieces the LA Dodgers are now a team that is all in for October.