It's easy to forget the Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off a 111-win regular season considering how loud the postseason thud that ended their campaign was.
That's real, though. That happened. The Dodgers went from a World Championship to 106 regular-season wins to 111 regular-season wins, then lost their All-Star shortstop and de facto captain at third base before opting out of filling their vacant ace slot (missing Walker Buehler a little extra today).
The world has learned to trust the Dodgers' process, and they shouldn't be counted out as a factor in 2023, but ... that said ... every rational Dodgers fan probably expected the team's offseason of bargain hunting while still paying the luxury tax to be pilloried.
But to be ranked alongside the Red Sox and Tigers and below the A's by The Athletic? That hurts. That stings.
Fabian Ardaya submitted his offseason grade this week, and gave the Dodgers a C-, dinging them for all the reasons that have been making this city comparatively nervous since early December.
Grading the Dodgers' Offseason: Bad Grade!
Ardaya's key points ... certainly read like a C- offseason, when laid end to end.
No matter what you think about Trea Turner in 2029, the Dodgers will not benefit from letting a $300 million star shortstop leave for Philadelphia. The Dodgers have lost the most WAR, year-over-year, of any team in MLB, per Ben Clemens of FanGraphs (cited by Ardaya). That's bad!
Oh, and they chose not to duck under the luxury tax threshold, and apparently do not plan to do so. When you put it that way ... stings, just a bit.
At the very least, The Athletic's staff did the Dodgers a solid by giving the San Francisco Giants the exact same grade for their public embarrassment of an offseason. With oodles, buckets and piles of money at their disposal, they somehow finished third in a two-horse race for Aaron Judge before signing Carlos Correa, then dissolving the deal.
Sure, San Francisco looks a little better after Steve Cohen scuttled his Correa deal, too. But it's going to take a lot more than one Mitch Haniger to make up for the totality of the offseason. Maybe four or five Mitch Hanigers will do the trick.
The Padres may have won the offseason -- objectively -- with the Dodgers and Giants wallowing together and hiding their report cards from their parents, but the night is young and the season is just beginning. After Mark Prior works his magic and Andrew Friedman retools at the deadline/pursues Shohei Ohtani, we'll see if the Dodgers edge closer to a failing grade or climb up the honor roll.