Andrew Friedman made a flurry of moves after taking over baseball operations of the Dodgers last fall. The former Rays executive reshaped the National League West winners, creating a little bit of financial wiggle room down the road, too. Notably the team shipped Matt Kemp to the Padres and allowed Hanley Ramirez to sign with the Red Sox. Friedman traded for Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick to remake the Dodgers middle infield.
In 2015 Los Angeles could have four new starters in the lineup everyday, along with Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson at the back end of the rotation.
A lot has been written about the future of the Dodgers, if only through pure off-season speculation. I’m certainly guilty of that, although my take was more of a “wait and see” approach, wondering how much better the team will be on the field in 2015. Vegas quickly tabbed the Dodgers as an early World Series favorite, prior to Max Scherzer signing with the Nationals.
Anyway, that’s why I love these quotes from Zack Greinke over the weekend at the Dodgers’ winter FanFest. Greinke’s picked up a reputation as a moody, if cerebral player during his career. More writers should applaud his candor and honesty. From ESPN’s Dodgers’ blog written by Mark Saxon about overhauling a team that won 94 games in 2014:
"“Well, I guess the best way I can answer that question is that, in the playoffs last year, I thought our team was the best team in baseball,” Greinke said. “To say we’re better than that, I don’t know if you could say that, especially without seeing us play.”"
And, really, how can you argue with that fair assessment? Nobody knows anything in any sport until the actual games are played — and even when that happens we often still don’t know.
Oops, as someone who writes about sports for a living, I probably wasn’t supposed to share this inside information. Oh well.
On the bright side, we’re inching closer to pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training. Until then, speculate away!