Dodgers TV Deal Adding New Fire to Giants Rivalry
Much has been written since August about the Dodgers new lucrative TV deal and they have wasted little time in showing the impact of their new found wealth; spending like drunken sailors on both the trade and free agent markets.
Despite spending the equivalent of a small country's GDP, the Dodgers were left watching their rival Giants celebrate a World Championship in October.
Both teams are going to be contenders this season giving baseball a fascinating divisional race to follow all summer long, but both teams also took completely different routes in building their 2013 rosters.
The Giants, smartly, realized they just won their second championship in three seasons, including an astounding 8-1 record in those two World Series appearances, and decided to keep the group together for another run in 2013.
The Dodgers on the other hand opened the vault with huge trades landing Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Red Sox and Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins.
Shortly after the Winter Meetings in early December, the Dodgers outlasted the Texas Rangers in a bidding war over top free agent starter Zack Greinke, reportedly by offering a buy out after year three while Texas wanted to offer it after year four.
One word of caution to the Dodgers, rarely does the team that spends the most also find themselves celebrating in late October.
Think about it, when was the last time the team that "won the offseason" went on to win the World Series?
Last year the dual offseason winners both missed the playoffs.
The Angels finished third in the AL West and the Marlins just had their usual fire sale trading off all the players that made up that offseason win.
Think long and hard about that LA, but the addition of Greinke gives the Dodgers a nice one-two punch at the top of the rotation.
Should Carl Crawford come back to form this season and Adrian Gonzalez provides that significant power base in the middle of the order, the Dodgers will be very competitive; however I worry about question marks on any team and the back end of their bullpen.
The Giants are intriguing because they have built two championship teams through player development and holding on to those championship pieces; it may not be the sexy offseason move, but hoisting the trophy with all the flags on it is pretty sexy.
No question the NL East race will be the most interesting race to follow this season because unlike the other beast divisions where the top teams have payrolls over 100 million, the Dodgers/Giants race offers a battle of philosophies; one is a free spender, the other has been built through the draft and player development.
Not to mention one has won 2 championships in the past three seasons forcing the other to open up the pocketbook to keep up.
My money is on those Giants because the player development way has proven to be the most successful, but the Dodgers have spent their money wisely on paper and could add payroll to the back end of the bullpen if necessary.
Either way the rivalry between these two teams will return to its historical levels of intensity as the Dodgers and their new TV deal want to dethrone their bitter rivals as the Champions of Baseball.
Buckle up because this may be a bumpy ride.