NL West preview: Is it still the Dodgers' division to lose? Can Giants challenge?

The Dodgers dominated the offseason with a $1.2-billion spending spree that included the acquisitions of two-way star Shohei Ohtani and pitchers Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, but the three other division contenders didn’t exactly sit on their hands all winter, and they’re not about to raise a white flag this spring.

Arizona’s rotation, led by Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, should be even better when left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who signed a four-year, $80-million deal in December, returns from a lat strain, and its lineup should be every bit as explosive as the one that helped the Diamondbacks sweep the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs en route to a World Series berth last October.

When San Francisco bolstered its infield with the signing of third baseman Matt Chapman to a three-year, $54-million deal on March 2, many felt the Giants were one starting pitcher away from playoff contention. Then they snagged that pitcher last week, inking 2023 NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to a two-year, $62-million deal.

San Diego added another potential ace to a rotation led by Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrave with the March 14 blockbuster acquisition of right-hander Dylan Cease from the Chicago White Sox, and as the Padres showed in last Thursday’s 15-11 win over the Dodgers in South Korea, they’re not about to roll over to their division rivals.

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