2013 RECORD: 92-70. KEY ADDITIONS: (RHP) Dan Haren, (LHP) Paul Maholm, (2B) Alexander Guerrero. BIGGEST LOSSES: Mark Ellis, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston Jr. 2014 OUTLOOK: The Dodgers pitching staff remains solid with Clayton Kershaw (pictured), Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and was bolstered by the addition of Dan Haren and Paul Maholm, who will compete against Josh Beckett for the No. 5 spot. Questions remain at second base with the loss of Mark Ellis, but the Dodgers hope Alexander Guerrero's four-year, $28-million deal will pay off. Depth is also an issue with the loss of key bench players, which could be a problem if the injury bug strikes. Matt Kemp says he won't rush back to avoid a repeat of his injury-marred 2013, so if Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford can stay healthy, and Yasiel Puig enjoys the same success as last season, on paper this team has what it takes to make it back to the NLCS.
2013 RECORD: 81-81. KEY ADDITIONS: (1B) Mark Trumbo (pictured) (RHP) Addison Reed. BIGGEST LOSSES: (RHP) Heath Bell (CF) Adam Eaton. 2014 OUTLOOK: Arizona's lasting image of the 2013 season was the Dodgers celebrating an NL West title in the D-backs' pool at Chase Field. After failing to land an ace to pair with Patrick Corbin and compete with rivals Dodgers and Giants, it looks like another mediocre season in the desert. They dealt top prospects center fielder Adam Eaton and left-hander Tyler Skaggs for veteran slugger Mark Trumbo from the Angels. The duo of Trumbo and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will provide plenty of power in the lineup, but may come with a cost. Trumbo will have to improve his outfield play or he may become a defensive liability.
Peter G. Aiken
San Francisco Giants
2013 RECORD: 76-86. KEY ADDITIONS: RHP Tim Hudson, LF Mike Morse. BIGGEST LOSSES: RHP Chad Gaudin. 2014 OUTLOOK: The Giants may have finished under .500 for the first time since 2008, but GM Brian Sabean is confident that he's filled the team's needs. San Francisco signed Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and LHP Javier Lopez to extensions while picking up free agent pitcher Tim Hudson and power hitter Michael Morse. Hudson should help boost the rotation, while slugger Morse was signed on a one-year, $6-million deal in hopes he'll bounce back after battling injuries for most of 2013. Pablo Sandoval will become a free agent at the end of the season, so he should be extra motivated to help the Giants return to form. If Pence can live up to his five-year, $90 million deal, Buster Posey (pictured) can regain his MVP form, and the team avoids the health issues they faced in 2013, look for them to make a run at the NL West.
San Diego Padres
2013 RECORD: 76-86. KEY ADDITIONS: (RHP) Joaquin Benoit (pictured) (RHP) Josh Johnson (OF) Seth Smith. BIGGEST LOSSES: (RHP) Luke Gregerson (OF) Jaff Decker (LHP) Clayton Richard, 2014 OUTLOOK: The Padres are coming off their fifth losing season in the last six years, but a productive offseason may finally get them over .500. The team addressed a major concern on the mound, adding Joaquin Benoit after the departure of Luke Gregerson. San Diego also boasts a formidable duo in Andrew Cashner and Josh Johnson. Cashner starred in his first full season as a starter, going 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 games. Johnson, however, comes with a risk. Since his All-Star year in 2010, Johnson failed to make 20 starts in two out of three seasons due to injury. Offensively, the Padres will depend on Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin. Headley underachieved last season, while Quentin only played 82 games last season and 86 the year before.
2013 RECORD: 74-88. KEY ADDITIONS: (1B) Justin Morneau, (LHP) Brett Anderson (pictured), (OF) Drew Stubbs. BIGGEST LOSSES: (1B) Todd Helton, (CF) Dexter Fowler. 2014 OUTLOOK: The Rockies had one of the busiest offseasons after finishing in last place in the NL West for the second straight season. Colorado bolstered its bullpen, signing closer LaTroy Hawkins, former New York Yankees and left-handed specialist Boone Logan and Franklin Morales, adding stability in late-inning situations. The deal to acquire Brett Anderson, who was the A's Opening Day starter a year ago, provides an instant upgrade to the Rockies rotation. Colorado also dealt fan favorite Dexter Fowler to the Astros, clearing room to sign free-agent first basemen Justin Morneau, who's replacing the retired Todd Helton. The added depth and versatility of the Rockies pitching staff suggests a third-consecutive last-place finish is unlikely.