Dodgers' dominant offseason didn't stop NL West foes from constant improvement

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Opening Day has finally come and gone. It's been almost six whole months since the last regular season game, and it's been one hell of an offseason. The Dodgers have, of course, topped offseason grades and rankings after adding a slew of new players and re-signing beloved old ones, and they probably could've considered the offseason won after signing Shohei Ohtani, their first massive splash of many to follow.

Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto choosing the Dodgers represented blows to the rest of the league, but the teams in LA's immediate vicinity haven't been too shabby themselves. The Giants, Padres, and Diamondbacks are also all coming into Opening Day with roster additions that should be feared in their own right. And the Rockies, well... hell might freeze over before the Rockies are real threats to anyone, much less the Dodgers.

Even though the Giants have repeatedly been the (deserving) butt of Dodgers' fans jokes after being told 'no' so many times by some of the year's biggest free agents, they still managed to nab Blake Snell and Matt Chapman as a result of some serious malpractice on the part of Scott Boras. The Padres netted a brand new set of arms in their trade of Juan Soto to the Yankees and signed Yuki Matsui who, despite getting hurt earlier in spring training, looked very good in the innings he did pitch.

Then there are the Diamondbacks, who the Dodgers never really needed to worry about before last season. They added Eduardo Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Eugenio Suárez and, finally, Jordan Montgomery to pile some truly intimidating additions onto their talented young core.

Healthy competition in the NL West is bound to lead to an interesting season for Dodgers

The Dodgers came out the gate early and forcefully this offseason, which naturally incentivized the rest of the division to push to get even close to competing with them. LA has skated to the top of the NL West every year over the past decade with the exception of 2021, when they were one game behind the Giants to close out the regular season, so maybe the rest of the division finally decided that they'd just had enough. The Diamondbacks also showed everyone last year that you don't have to finish with 100, or even 90, wins to make it the World Series (in part thanks to the expanded playoff model).

Most early predictions are still putting 100+ wins in the Dodgers' column, but the Giants, Padres, and Diamondbacks are all saying, "Not so fast." Watching the Dodgers win is always fun, but would also be fun if their most direct rivals were to give them a run for their money for the first time in years. In a way, it would sort of make a World Series victory for LA feel even sweeter.