Diamondbacks And Padres Provide Basis For Dodgers’ Approach
Early Prediction Of Dodgers’ 25-man Roster
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2015 season, no team had as many new (and well-known faces) than the San Diego Padres. They finished 74-88, in fourth place in the division and 18 games out of the playoffs.

Prior to Opening Day in 2016, the Arizona Diamondbacks were the team full of splashy signings and trades. At 40-53, Arizona is in last place in the NL West and 17 games off the division lead.

The message? Winning the offseason isn’t the key to winning baseball games.

For the Padres, the 2015 offseason was highlighted by trades for Craig Kimbrel, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Derrick Norris, Brandon Maurer and Will Middlebrooks. Unsurprisingly, people praised their offseason with articles lauding how Padres general manager A.J. Preller seemingly rebuilt the club on a whim.

Compared to San Diego, the Diamondbacks a year later were tame. Their moves were highlighted by the signing of Zack Greinke to a record contract and the trade for Shelby Miller, along with minor moves that brought them Tyler Clippard and Jean Segura.

Once again, it appeared as if fantasy baseball had overtaken common sense within the confines of a general manager’s office. And the results? Well, ‘not good’ is a light way of putting it.

The funny thing in all this is that the way most message board fans approach the Dodgers would be to encourage moves like the ones made by Preller, Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart.

Fans love splashy trades and big signings, but the reality is that they don’t always work out. And in the case of trading the No. 12 prospect, Dansby Swanson, in exchange for a pitcher who was just sent down to the Minors, ‘it didn’t work out’ is being too kind.

In the face of all the flash and excitement, the Dodgers’ brass has remained committed to their strategy from day one: compete now, but focus on building a foundation for the future. And this isn’t rocket science!

Look at just about every championship team from the past decade, and the core pieces weren’t signed or traded for, but groomed from within.

The Dodgers, according to most prospect evaluators, have one of the best farm systems in baseball. And that’s without Corey Seager and Julio Urias included.

What Andrew Friedman and Co. have done is exactly what they’ve set out to: win division titles while building a farm system essentially from scratch.

It may not be flashy and it may not grab headlines, but the reality is: if you ask Arizona and San Diego, it could be worse.