In 2008, the Dodgers won the N.L. West with an 84-78 record, finishing two games ahead of the Arizona D'Backs. Will the Dodgers do better or worse in 2009? Offseason moves so far have given me little confidence that the club will be any better.
On the positive side, free agents Furcal and Blake were re-signed, giving them solid players at SS and 3B. Martin (C), Ethier (RF), Kemp (CF), and Loney (1B) are back, meaning that their young starts will continue to improve. I like Broxton as the closer.
On the negative side, Ramirez remains unsigned and the Dodgers don't seem to be aggressively pursuing a deal. Juan Pierre is certainly not the answer in LF. I'm not sure that DeWitt can cut it at 2B. The starting rotation is questionable with the loss of Lowe and Penny. Billingsley, Kuroda and Kershaw don't give me a lot of confidence and who knows whether Jason Schmidt will finally be healthy.
The roster is weaker than last year as it stands now, and I don't think that the team has been aggressive enough in the offseason. I question the commitment on the part of ownership to win championships. They seem to be content with mediocrity.
Colletti says that you don't have to lock into a roster by spring, that players become available during the season. This is a weak argument and wishful thinking.