Among his dozens of cluttered notepads and hundreds of files containing scouting reports of players across Major League Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has the beginnings of an Opening Day roster plan stirring in the back of his mind.
Since the moment Colletti and team owner Frank McCourt announced a potential increased payroll budget for 2011, fans throughout Dodgertown have been imagining both the best and worst possible scenarios for the upcoming season.
Names such as Cliff Lee, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, Victor Martinez and Jayson Werth have been the talk of Tinseltown, yet with several minor tweaks and a few key additions, the Dodgers may not need to break the bank or sell the farm to once again emerge as contenders in the NL West.
On paper, the Boys in Blue weren't as bad as their 2010 record suggested. However, problems with ownership, hostility within the coaching staff, and turmoil in the clubhouse created a negative chemistry which led to one of the more disappointing seasons in recent Dodgers history.
Colletti and new Los Angeles skipper Don Mattingly have been carefully assembling a coaching staff with all of the team's best interests in mind, and with the proper bonding and a bit of luck, the Dodgers may create the exact type of locker room atmosphere which the squad desperately needs.
Of course, there are literally thousands of roster possibilities for next year, and a number of MLB experts and analysts are already tossing around names of players who may be taking the field at Chavez Ravine on Opening Day.
The following slides highlight seven bold predictions for the Dodgers' Opening Day squad, offer a brief commentary for each and suggest a starting lineup against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants on April 1.