With the sheer ability to outbid any team on any player, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly have a permanent spot atop the weak NL West.
But that is not to say that the Dodgers aren’t a talented team. With players like Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke—just to name a few—the Dodgers could very well become the National League version of the late New York Yankees dynasty.
Beyond the Dodgers, the rest of the NL West is a bit of a free-for-all.
After finishing fourth in 2013, the San Francisco Giants could potentially shoot up a few spots with good seasons from Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, who posted a 4.00 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 83 ERA+) and 4.37 ERA (versus a 76 ERA+), respectively, last season.
The Giants will have to fend off the Arizona Diamondbacks for second place, however, as the D’backs could viably contend if their motley crew of starting pitchers rise to the occasion. And with a lineup featuring Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero, run production should be the least of the team’s problems.
The San Diego Padres made a few under-the-radar moves this offseason, acquiring Seth Smith from the Oakland Athletics for Luke Gregerson and signing Joaquin Benoit and Josh Johnson via free agency. While the moves certainly strengthen the Padres’ depth, the additions still don’t put the team in a position to contend.
The same goes for the lowly Colorado Rockies, whose biggest offseason transaction was selling low on center fielder Dexter Fowler. The Rockies dealt Fowler to the Houston Astros for back-end pitcher Jordan Lyles and fourth outfielder Brandon Barnes. At very best, if the Rockies as is click in 2014, they could bump the Padres for fourth.
Projected 2014 Standings:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres