The Dodgers vs. the world

Freddie Freeman congratulates Shohei Ohtani for his first home run in Dodger uniform.
Freddie Freeman congratulates Shohei Ohtani for his first home run in Dodger uniform.
New York Post


The moment Kershaw was pulled from game one against the Diamondbacks. (PC: Spectrum News)

The Dodgers ended their 2023 season with a devastating defeat against the DiamondBacks. Many things had gone wrong and the team did not advance in the postseason. They had some of their top pitchers, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Walker Buehler recovering from their injuries. Clayton Kershaw, a three time Cy Young award winner, gave up six runs in the first inning against the Diamondbacks and was pulled out immediately. Bobby Miller, a rookie where it was his first time in the postseason, allowed three runs while recording five outs. Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts who were runner ups for MVP, both were cold when it came up to bat in the postseason. 

After this humiliating defeat, The Dodgers organization had to do something that would stun the world. Something that would make their team into the “Avengers.” And thus the spending spree began.

Shohei Ohtani’s first spring training with the Dodgers. (PC: Jon SooHoo)

Shohei Ohtani

On Dec 9 2023, the Dodgers signed one of the best two way players, Shohei Ohtani. Shohei Ohtani is considered one of the best baseball players. At bat, he would hit homeruns so far, it looked like a mini spaceship blasting off. He once hit a 493 feet homerun where it was recorded as his longest home run he has ever hit. He then went on to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic for Japan alongside winning WBC MVP for his pitching prowess. He also recently won his second AL MVP award alongside Ronald Acuna Jr who also won his second NL MVP award. He has put up record breaking career stats that no one thought could be broken. Even his contract with the Dodgers was a record-shattering 10 years, $700 which was the biggest sports contract ever made in history. But he deferred some of that money because he wanted the Dodgers to still be able to afford other players that they needed in their arsenal. 

Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot

The Dodgers of course use this as their advantage. They traded two of their players for two players from the Tampa Bay Rays, Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot. Tyler Glasnow was a glass cannon where he could perform really well, but is more prone to injury. The Dodgers have faith in the California kid so they extended his contract for five years at $136.5m. But their spending spree has not stopped there. They have spent a bit of money to sign some players who were free agents like Joe Kelly, Jason Heyward, Teoscar Hernandez, and many more, but that did not stop there.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s first spring training. (PC: Jon SooHoo)

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

18 days later, the Dodgers signed a Japanese pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Yamamoto and Ohtani were teammates in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and now are teammates once again with the Dodgers. He is a three time Pacific League MVP, won the Eiji Sawamura Award, the first player in history to win the Triple Crown in three consecutive years, and has thrown four no hitters. Yamamoto’s extensive knowledge of pitching has made him an absolute unit on the mound. He has harnessed his power with above-average control, has a fast arm with a clean delivery, and will go after hitters fearlessly and aggressively. His contract with the Dodgers was a whopping 12 years and $325m which is the longest and most expensive contract for a pitcher in major league history. 

2024 Starting Rotation

The Dodgers have solved their issue with pitching. They now have one of the most powerful pitching lineups Dodgers history has seen. The 2024 starting rotation projection is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Walker Buehler, Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, James Paxton, and eventually Clayton Kershaw who recently signed back for one-year, making it his 17th season with the Dodgers. If the starting rotation is not good enough, wait until 2025 where hopefully Ohtani is fully recovered from his recent arm surgery.

Rookie James Outman hanging out with Mookie Betts. (PC: Jon SooHoo)

Will They Succeed?

After the embarrassing sweep against the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers organization did not hold back. They have spent a total of $1.2 billion this offseason. Many critics have voiced concerns about high expectations and performance. If the Dodgers do not perform well this season, it will go down as the most embarrassing moment in baseball history. Will the Dodgers spending spree actually be worth it? Will this “Avengers” like team help win the World Series? I guess we will have to see how well they perform. Opening game of the 2024 MLB season is scheduled for March 20 against the San Diego Padres. 

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