The Dodgers & Angels Must Be Printing Money

Dodgers and Angels play 31 miles apart from one anotherDuring the past two seasons, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have led Major League Baseball in both the amount of money spent and the number of big trades executed. As a result of this level of activity, the franchises from LA and Anaheim suddenly resemble the rosters of a big league All-Star team.

LA's city based team, the Dodgers, have made several significant moves, featuring some of baseball's biggest names. Last offseason, the team re-signed Matt Kemp for eight-years and $160 million. During the 2012 regular season, LA re-signed Andre Ethier (five-year/$85 million) and acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins (six-year/$70 million), before making the blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, involving the massive contracts of Adrian Gonzalez (seven-year/$154 million), Josh Beckett (four-year/$68 million) and Carl Crawford (seven-year/$142 million). Just recently, the organization signed free agent pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year/$147 million contract (ended last season with Angels).

In 2012, the Dodgers finished second in the National League West, losing out to the world champion San Francisco Giants. The franchise's 2013 payroll is expected to exceed $200 million, pushing them past the New York Yankees, for tops in all of baseball.

The Angels biggest moves came in the winter of 2012, with the signing of C.J. Wilson to a five-year/$75 million contract and the mega 10-year/$254 million deal provided to future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. During this current offseason, the Angels gave the market's biggest free agent prize, Josh Hamilton, a five-year/$125 million package.

These big acquisitions added talent to an Angels roster that also includes the likes of Mike Trout, Vernon Wells, Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick. In 2012, the high priced team from Orange County finished third in the American League West race

The money being spent by the two Los Angeles area based teams closely resembles the “arms race” undertaken by the Yankees and Red Sox, during the last several years. The only difference being that the Dodgers and Angels play 31 miles apart from one another, as opposed to 200 miles. Plus, the dueling LA teams do not compete in the same division. It will be interesting to see if all of this money leads these clubs to the postseason, come October.