Here they come.
After a 92-win campaign and trip to the NLCS in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to embark on a season filled with expectations, high salaries and NL West dominance.
One year ago, the Dodgers broke camp with talent, but nearly lost their way before health and chemistry came together to rescue a floundering roster.
On the morning of June 22, Los Angeles awoke to a 9.5-game deficit in the NL West standings. At 30-42, the most disappointing team in the National League was on the verge of wasting a $200 million payroll and an all-time great season from an all-time great young pitcher.
Then—almost instantly—everything changed. From the moment the Dodgers took the field after their 42nd loss of the season, no team was better during the remainder of the regular season. Over Los Angeles' final 90 games, manager Don Mattingly oversaw 62 victories and a trip to the postseason.
Despite dropping the NLCS in six games to the St. Louis Cardinals, optimism was abound this offseason in Los Angeles.
As it should have been.
With the chance to experience a full season of Yasiel Puig's electric talent, Hanley Ramirez's special bat, Clayton Kershaw's once-in-a-lifetime arm and a deep, talented roster of complementary stars, the sky is the limit for this team.
Here's how the 2014 season will play out at Chavez Ravine.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Arbitration numbers and projections courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors. Roster projections courtesy of MLB Depth Charts.