Do you get the impression that the Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for a deep playoff run? Their transactions suggest that they are looking to win this season, as the Blue Crew picked up a couple of veterans that may be particularly important in the postseason. We will have to see whether these trades pay off as the team gets into August and September.
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Shane Victorino is a guy who has won in the past, and he will lend veteran stability to the leadoff position. He and Dee Gordon could be a great combination at the top of the lineup. The batting average is not stellar this season, but perhaps a change of scenery and a different clubhouse atmosphere will give him a little more enthusiasm at the point. I guess this means that Bobby Abreu will be spending more time on the bench. Victorino might sign a new deal in the offseason, but he could also be a rental for a playoff run.
Improving the bullpen
The acquisition of Brandon League is another positive move for the Dodgers. League lost his closer job in Seattle, bit he has a closer-type attitude to go with his quality fastball. He will be a great setup man for Kenley Jansen, and League could also close if the situation presents itself. I don't know if he will be with the club long term, but that depends on how he pitches in the next couple of months.
I think these are both good trades, and Los Angeles might still get another player or two off the waiver wire. Do the Dodgers have all the pieces of a championship contender this season? On paper the parts are there, and they certainly looked like a top team earlier in the season. Now that the lineup is healthy and the Dodgers have new assets that include Hanley Ramirez, they may be able to regain some of that momentum and make a run at the World Series.
The author grew up in Seattle and is ultimately loyal to the Mariners, but now lives in Los Angeles and also roots for Dodger Blue. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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