Dec 15, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno (left) introduces new outfielder Josh Hamilton during a press conference at Downtown Disney. Image Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dugout Dirt: The Battle for Los Angeles

There have been so many moves in the Los Angeles area that it is starting to become hard to track who is going where.

The most recent move was that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Josh Hamilton to a 5 year deal worth $125 million.

The deal for Hamilton came just over a year after the Angels coughed up $240 million to sign Albert Pujols to a 10 year contract. It reunites him with former Rangers teammate C.J. Wilson.

At last week’s press conference to introduce the slugger, Angels owner Arte Moreno said that the rivalry didn’t factor into the deal. Moreno was quoted as saying:

“I personally can’t wait to play them. I mean, think about how much fun it’s going to be.”

Steve Dilbeck, a Dodgers blogger for Los Angeles Times, wonders if Moreno is “obsessed with the Dodgers.”

Just days ago, their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, made some moves of their own with free agent signings. The Dodgers added Hyun-Jin Ryu (six years and $36 million) and Zack Greinke (six years and $147 million, opt out clause after year 3). This doesn’t even factor in the trade with the Cardinals for Skip Schumaker.

Do both teams have a good chance at making the playoffs? Or even the World Series?

“I would say the chances of both teams making the playoffs are about the same … very good,” said Mike DiGiovanna, an Angels beat writer for the Los Angeles Times.

“As far as the Angels, their lineup should improve,” Halo’s Hangout editor Jason Evans said. “However, that wasn’t the problem last season. The bullpen is improved but, to me, they are still one arm short in the rotation. They should be the favorites to win the division. However, Texas still has good players and you can’t discount Oakland’s young pitching.”

“Well, I think there’s a pretty good chance of the Dodgers making the playoffs,” said Lasorda’s Lair co-editor Scott Andes. “Actually I think they’ll make it in for sure, as long as everyone stays healthy. But making it to a World Series will be tough.

“The pitching staff is going to be very good. With the additions of Greinke and Ryu, the Dodgers are going to have a great rotation, and a strong pitching staff. There are a lot of uncertainty surrounding some of the Dodgers because they’re coming off of major injury. Kemp is coming off of a separated shoulder, and torn labrum in his shoulder. Carl Crawford is coming off of Tommy John surgery. There is major concerns about Chad Billingsley’s elbow, and Ted Lilly’s rusty neck/shoulder. The club won’t know until spring training if Billingsley’s elbow will be healthy or needs Tommy John. Until he tests it they won’t be able to know, although they’re hopeful that he won’t have to. There are questions about the left side of the infield. Hanley Ramirez’s defense is iffy, (he has a weird habit of double clutching on all of his throws). Can Luis Cochito Cruz handle the third base job for a full season? There is also worries about the team’s ability to hit left handed pitching. Plus, an inexperienced manager adds another question mark.”

Los Angeles Daily News sports columnist Vincent Bonsignore wonders if the moves will pay off for either ballclub. It’s an honest question, really, and I do suggest reading Vincent’s column in full.

The talent can get them to the playoffs, there is no questioning that. But is it going to be good enough to get them to the World Series? With the money both teams are paying, there is no excuse to not make a deep run in October.

Tags: Free Agent Signings Josh Hamilton Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Zach Greinke

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