When the Dodgers go out to dinner, there's no excuse for alligator arms. After last August's mammoth trade with the Red Sox and a winter shopping spree, Los Angeles has the game's highest payroll, projected at $213 million. Ten players—including righthander Zack Greinke, who signed for six years and $147 million in December—will make eight figures in 2013. That might not be enough, though. Questions about the health of outfielder Carl Crawford (left elbow) and starter Chad Billingsley (right elbow), as well as the lack of a true leadoff hitter, make the Dodgers just a slight favorite over the defending world champion Giants in the NL West.
WE LIKE BOTH PLAYERS.
Deciding who starts and who comes off the bench is one of the main reasons for a six-week training camp. The key job battles to watch: Rangers centerfielder (Leonys Martin versus Craig Gentry), Cubs closer (Carlos Marmol versus Japanese import Kyuji Fujikawa), Cardinals second baseman (Daniel Descalso versus Matt Carpenter, with rookie Kolten Wong possibly taking it from both), Diamondbacks fifth starter (Tyler Skaggs versus Randall Delgado versus Patrick Corbin) and the left side of the Dodgers' infield (where some combination of Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Juan Uribe and Luis Cruz will play).