No Playoff Baseball in Los Angeles
The Dodgers, on the other hand, received a lot of expiring contracts near the end of the season. Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, and Brandon League are the most noteworthy upcoming free agents on the team’s roster, and it wouldn’t surprise me if all three found a new home for 2013. League was effective out of the bullpen and could have the best chance of staying on between the trio, but Blanton and Victorino really struggled in Dodger blue and may test the market as I couldn’t see the Dodgers extending too much gratitude their way.
For the Angels, things could have been a lot worse (look at the mess in Miami). Even though the playoff run fell short, they discovered a superstar Centerfielder in Trout and will most likely have him paired up with the always-dangerous Pujols for the next decade – an extremely encouraging duo. Mark Trumbo proved he can be one of the league’s top power hitters, Jered Weaver put up another Cy Young worthy season, Kendrys Morales got himself back to 20+ home run form, and role players Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick were as reliable as ever at the bat and in the field. 2013 figures to be a big year if the team continues its growth.
Like the Angels, the Dodgers will have a world’s worth of expectations behind them going into next year. With a full season batting order that includes Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford, another shortened season would be a tremendous disappointment. We’ve yet to see the team play to their full potential, and in due time we’ll begin to find out if this group of sluggers ever will.