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Freeman still sees Dodgers as kings of NL West: 'We retook it last year'

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Despite losing a number of key contributors from last year's roster, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman still believes his club is the team to beat in the National League West entering 2023.

"The division is still ours until we lose, right?" Freeman said Tuesday, according to Dodger Blue's Matthew Moreno. "We retook it last year. I think our team is very, very good."

The Dodgers captured the division last season after racking up 111 regular-season victories. However, the club came up short in the playoffs, falling to the division-rival San Diego Padres in the NLDS.

All-Star shortstop Trea Turner as well as longtime Dodgers stalwarts Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger departed Los Angeles via free agency this offseason.

"I still love our team. We've got a really good one," Freeman said. "When you've got Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez, and then you can just roll off our pitching, I think we've still got a really good team."

Freeman is entering the second season of a six-year, $162-million contract. The 33-year-old knows expectations are sky high as per usual in Los Angeles and relishes the challenge of trying to win another World Series.

"You have one job as a professional athlete and that's try to bring a championship home. And if you don't do that, you lose, you've gotta regroup, fuel it, and try and do it again the next year," Freeman said.

The six-time All-Star enjoyed a strong debut campaign in Southern California last season. Freeman posted a .918 OPS with 21 home runs, 117 runs scored, and 100 RBIs while finishing fourth in National League MVP voting.

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