The GM Meetings took place last week, and there were plenty of rumors coming out of the meetings, including that Jose Bautista to the Phillies for Domonic Brown trade rumor. Among other names tossed around were three Dodgers outfielders, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford. Actually, the Dodgers discussed trade scenarios involving all four of their outfielders, including Yasiel Puig.
Dodgers owners Magic Johnson recently described Puig as a future "face of LA sports", so I doubt he is going anywhere unless a cheap, controllable players is coming back.
Yesterday, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was interviewed by Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on Inside Pitch, MLB Radio's afternoon show, and they discussed all kinds of topics ranging from Alexander Guerrero, Clayton Kershaw, Don Mattingly, David Price, Brian Wilson, and the possibility of trading one of their outfielders. Below is Colletti's response, via Bowden on Twitter:
Ned Colletti on their OF "We would like to get younger if possible" are open to moving one of their outfielders but not shopping any of them— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 19, 2013
Trading one of the other three outfielders will prove to be more difficult due to the size of their contracts and their injury history, as all three outfielders have missed time to the disabled list over the last two seasons. But, the "we would like to get younger, if possible" comment makes sense to me, as they have Joc Pederson almost major league ready after a terrific 2013 season in AA. Pederson is currently playing in Venezuela, and some in the organization feel that he is their best outfielder, period. I recently read that some scouts compare his abilities in the field to those of multiple Gold Glove award winner, Jim Edmonds. Some high praise there.
So, it would make sense that if they eventually want to make room for Pederson, who can play center field, at least one of their outfielders could be traded this offseason. Recent reports have the Dodgers talking to the Rangers for shortstop Elvis Andrus, and to the Mariners. I actually could see the Phillies getting involved as well, as they are looking for a right handed bat, and Matt Kemp would make sense, if he can prove he is healthy.
I don't see a trade involving Kemp before spring training, as any team looking for outfield help will want to make sure he is healthy after not one, but two, offseason surgeries. With that said, it probably makes more sense for the Dodgers to deal either Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford before the end of the year.
Due to the previously mentioned contract and injury issues, the Dodgers will probably have to eat some salary in any trade involving Kemp, Crawford or Ethier. Ethier has just four years and $69 million left on his contract, while Crawford has four years and $82.5 million remaining. Kemp, on the other hand, has six years and $128 million left on his contract, but, when healthy, he is the far better player of the three, so some teams may be willing to take on the risk in any deal for him.
Teams looking for outfield help this offseason have the option of looking to the free agent market, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo at the top of the list of free agent outfielders. Ellsbury is looking for a six-seven year deal in the $126 million range, while Choo is looking for a deal in the $100 million range, so teams not willing to invest on these two players could look to the Dodgers for one of their available outfielders, especially if the Dodgers eat some of the salary to make them look more enticing to their trade partners.
Several teams are looking for outfield help including the Rangers, especially with Nelson Cruz leaving via free agency, the Mariners, who are looking for more punch in their outfield, and the Yankees, among other teams. I could see the Rangers as the more likely trade partner as they have too many middle infielders in their system, while the Dodgers have too many outfielders.
So, which Dodgers outfielder will be traded this offseason: Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier? Cast your vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section.
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