All in. It’s the only phrase that can describe the Los Angeles Dodgers 2012 season. After an off-season of financial turmoil amidst “historic” ownership problems, the Dodgers entered this baseball season with on-field talent, but huge questions off-the-field. No one knew if they’d be able to spend money to get new players, how their current players would hold up throughout the season, and if they could even challenge in the NL West.
The season started out decently. The pitching was outstanding but the offense was quiet. So the new ownership group, led in part by NBA legend Magic Johnson, sprung into action.
In a number of moves, the team traded for all-stars shortstop Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Shane Victorino, and pitching relievers Randy Choate and Brandon League. But it still wasn’t enough.
So the team decided to make history.
On August 26, the LA Dodgers and Boston RedSox completed the largest trade in Major League Baseball history. The nine-player trade included more than a quarter of a billion dollars in salary. Three All-Stars – Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett – were shipped from Boston to LA, along with their $250 million in salaries committed through 2018.
The RedSox were sinking fast and looking for a fresh start and financial flexibility. LA was looking for a spark and the plug needed to get them “over the hump” in their division. Tired of being fourth-rate behind the local Lakers, Kings, and even the Clippers, the LA Dodgers made the bold proclamation they were committed to winning a championship and to be taken note of.
The team is in a great position for the next few years as far as rosters go – but will it amount to a championship? The Yankees have long had the highest payroll in baseball but it hasn’t led to a World Series ring since 2009.
So will the increased salaries and All-Star players allow the “other” LA team to compete for a championship? We will find out leading into baseball’s annual run at October.