The Dodgers attracted a lot of attention (and barbs from rivals) for the spending spree that more than doubled the team's 2012 opening day payroll. But while the signing of Zack Greinke and midseason additions of Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and more have some thinking World Series, Los Angeles has some major issues to address in spring training.
The Dodgers seem content with Luis Cruz at third base to start the season. Cruz bounced around the minors for 12 uninspiring years before an incredible stretch run in the majors in 2012, and it's hard to believe he just put it together after years of toils. His backup, Juan Uribe, has been an unmitigated disaster in Dodger blue, hitting under .200. Ramirez could slide to third, which would hide his defensive deficiencies. But that would open up shortstop for Dee Gordon, a speedster who looked lost at the plate and in the field last year.
The bullpen should be a strong suit for the team, but dominant reliever Kenley Jansen missed time in 2011 and 2012 with an irregular heartbeat and underwent major surgery in the offseason. Additionally, Ronald Belisario has lost time to a variety of off-field issues over the years.
And don't forget questions about Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu's ability to adjust to his new country, Carl Crawford's alarming decline and journeyman catcher A.J. Ellis' chances to repeat his surprising season. The Dodgers have a lot to figure out in 2013 before they can start dreaming of a Hollywood ending.
- Elliot Smilowitz