All the makings are there. Star-studded roster. A potentially rich farm system. Billion-dollar television deal. Deep-pocketed ownership. The Los Angeles Dodgers could be ready to go on a run and become the next dynasty like the New York Yankees or Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine.
The Dodgers are already the most talented team in baseball. Few teams can match Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top of the rotation or the starting lineup that the Dodgers run out to the field each day. The fact that they could continue to make improvements to their roster this winter and be better for years to come is a scary proposition. It will be something that not only affects the NL West, but the entire league.
Fans of the Dodgers can potentially look at their recent 42-8 record in the past 50 games, detailed here by MLB's Andrew Simon, and view it as the starting point of things to come in the future. The Dodgers could potentially outspend the rest of the teams in the NL West by a 3:1 ratio moving forward, giving them a distinct advantage. Baseball Prospectus shows the Dodgers opening the season with a $216 million payroll.
This article from Fangraphs' Wendy Thurm shows the disparity between the Dodgers and the rest of MLB because of their local television deal. While the Los Angeles Angels might have similar revenue streams, they have what one general manager told Peter Gammons in this article "the two most unmovable contracts" in baseball looking at Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, a problem that the Dodgers don't face long-term.
The Dodgers could be a player for Yankees' star Robinson Cano this winter, in the rare instance where the Yankees might lose out on a player that they want to keep. If Los Angeles wants to throw their financial muscle around, they could offer Cano a contract that the Yankees would be reluctant to match. Cano makes a lot of sense for Los Angeles, something that I mention here.
If the Dodgers acquire Cano, it could position the Dodgers to then trade from their outfield surplus, dealing Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier for additional pitching or to address third base. Dealing the oft-injured Kemp might allow the Dodgers to add to major league roster while getting them out from the remaining $128 million of his deal.
Looking at the impacts that both Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu have had this season for the Dodgers, it illustrates the point that Los Angeles could become the favored destination of star international players and it also gives the Dodgers the ability to outbid any team for a player that they want.
This international clout and financial strength will allow the Dodgers to quickly rebuild a farm system that was ranked 19th by Baseball America to start the season. It is not hard to envision the Dodgers having a top-10 system to start next season.
As good as the Dodgers have become this season, it only looks to be the start of an organization scratching the surface of its potential. The other 29 teams in major league baseball have a reason to be worried.
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