Last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers made noise via a blockbuster trade with the Red Sox, bringing in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett. They also acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, making the total cost of all four players at more than $74 million. They were the talk of the league and favorites to go all the way.
After acquiring all those bats, the Dodgers fell behind and finished eight games back of the Giants, missing the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Giants acquired an aging veteran named Marco Scutaro and a wide-eyed, crazy-swinging guy named Hunter Pence and wound up winning the World Series.
What’s the lesson to learn here?
According to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, the motto is simple.
“You can’t buy team chemistry,” he quipped at Fan Fest on Saturday.
The Dodgers’ new ownership group obviously doesn’t care. They continued their trend by signing pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year deal worth $147 million.
The Dodgers’ new owners have spent more than $600 million in acquiring players since they bought the team less than one year ago. They will enter the 2013 season with the highest payroll, at more than $220 million, in baseball history.
Will this group of All-Stars find a way to play together down in LA? Or will the resilient Giants figure out yet another unorthodox way to win the NL West?
Only time will tell, but for now, the wise words of Brandon Belt hold true.