The Dodgers are going for their fourth consecutive NL West title, but 2016 could prove to be their toughest challenge in that time. The Giants have reloaded, the Diamondbacks are trying to come strong after stealing Zack Greinke from Los Angeles, and the Dodgers are already dealing with a season's worth of injuries before it even begins. They have the money and the depth to handle those injuries, but it might not be enough.
Kenta Maeda is unproven in MLB, but he was a quality pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball before signing a team-friendly deal with the Dodgers. How well -- and how often -- he pitches will have a major influence on the overall direction of the Dodgers' rotation, especially given how many injuries it's already dealing with.
All additions: Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Yasiel Sierra, Joe Blanton,
Zack Greinke helped the Dodgers form a two-headed ace atop the rotation, but now Clayton Kershaw is left alone with just his own head to keep him company. While that's still quite the rotation topper, there's a real drop from Greinke to Scott Kazmir in the two spot, and that's without mentioning that Greinke went to someone competing for the same division title.
All departures: Zack Greinke, Juan Nicasio, Jimmy Rollins, Jim Johnson
The Dodgers overcome their early health issues, and Kenta Maeda turns out to be one of the winter's better investments as he helps make up for the loss of Zack Greinke. ("Helps" being the key word -- just because it's best-case doesn't mean it should be totally unrealistic.) Carl Crawford is able to contribute, Corey Seager adjust to the majors in a hurry, Yasiel Puig bounces back, and it all leads to yet another NL West title.
The Dodgers are playing a dangerous game with their rotation, going for quantity over quality, and it burns Los Angeles just enough that the Giants and Diamondbacks are able to slip by and end their NL West reign and any shot at a wild card spot.
Lineup: Carl Crawford, Howie Kendrick, Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal, Joc Pederson
Rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Carlos Frias