Friday, August 30, 2013
State of the Dodgers : Four Outfielders, Not A Problem . . . For Now
To add a variety to the blog I am going to start a category that will post maybe once a week or twice a month or whenever something comes to mind that I want to write about. State of ( subject ) will be that new category and since this is mainly a Dodger blog, the first entry will be about the log jam in the outfield.
With Matt Kemp starting his rehab assignment last night it is imminent that he will be back with the team within a week or so barring any setbacks. For September and the playoffs having four outfielders won't be a problem as two ( Kemp , Crawford ) have and are still been dealing with injuries and can use days off here and there. Also match ups can play into any given day's lineup on who sits and who doesn't. The problem will arise next spring when all are healthy and with no DH there is just no way you can have 4 starting outfielders without causing a riff within the team.
Kemp is not going anywhere as he is still the "face" of the franchise even though his star has dimmed the last couple of years. It would be a P.R. nightmare if they got rid of him and considering the contracts around baseball being signed his is for the most part still team friendly.
Puig is the young stud who is only 22 and with his production at the low contract price he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Yasiel needs to play everyday and will have that chance until he does not perform.
With Crawford it would be great if they could move him but they can't and won't. He has had a rebound year and I love watching him play but with his contract having over 82M left on it and him being 32 it will be virtually impossible to move him unless the Dodgers take on another bad contract. With all that I don't believe we will see him moved.
That leaves us with Andre. I have enjoyed the resurgence of Andre this year and he has stepped up in spite of always seeming to be on the trade block. That obviously has died down with all the injuries. With that said he is still the easiest of the four to trade away and this off season will probably be the best time to do so with his value at its highest.
Not looking at every team as there might be better options I think the Dodgers need to revisit the trade that almost happened at the trade deadline. The Angels and Dodgers almost made a trade involving Howie Kendrick and with the Angels miserable season they need to reload to move forward. It has been reported that they need to rid themselves of Howie and his contract. Our second baseman Mark Ellis has an expiring contract but he can not play everyday. Howie can fill that hole and I would have no problem with Mark being a bench/spot starter on the team though he might have other ideas about that. Howie makes 9.5M and is 30 on opening day. Andre has 72M left spread over 4 years and will be 32 on opening day. The Dodgers would be getting younger. The Angels don't "need" Andre but they could if a hole opened up or they might trade him themselves. The problem with the Angels is their pitching. The have two young players under club control in Trumbo and Bourjos and could potentially trade them off for some good starting pitching. They could also flip Andre to another team that didn't line up with the Dodgers directly. Trumbo is a great hitting 1B/OF/DH machine with Bourjos being a very good defensive outfielder. If one or both go then Andre slots right into their OF with Trout going back to CF where I think his better suited for.
This is just one option for the Dodgers to explore and I know that the money doesn't line up perfectly but that could be worked around by taking on some of the contract or they could possibly throw in a SP to help the deal along which also helps the Angels. Either way the Dodgers will have to address the crowded outfield this off season and will have to come to a solution prior to spring training. Some may say if one of the remaining 3 go down with an injury we would be in trouble but we have another young stud in the minors by the name of Joc Pederson who can come up and help. I rather see him on the team than the Dodgers trading him for a hole on the roster. He is ready for the majors but at the present moment no place to play him.
All this is my opinion and you may or may not agree but I'm sticking to it but I do love debates.