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MLB Trade Rumors: Dodgers To Trade One of Their Core??

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In his Sunday morning blog, ESPN's Buster Olney suggests the Dodgers will trade one of their arbitration eligible players this offseason:

Los Angeles is expected to move at least one of its many arbitration-eligible players via trade. You might match Halladay with what the Dodgers have to offer -- Canada native Russell Martin plus others. But remember that Martin's OPS has dropped 162 points during the past two seasons. He also is climbing swiftly up the arbitration ladder; his salary might climb from $3.9 million last season to $6 million next season. In the end, the Dodgers might not get the ace they need.

So, I took a look at the list of arbitration eligible players the Dodgers have this offseason. Here is the list:

Andre Ethier

Matt Kemp

Chad Billingsley

Russell Martin

James Loney

Jonathan Broxton

George Sherrill

Hong-Chih Kuo

There are four players that LA will certainly not trade right now: Kemp, Ethier, Sherrill and Kuo. Kemp and Ethier are obvious, and Sherrill and Kuo are two of the best left-handed relievers in the game, so they aren't going anywhere.

Of the remaining four players, I don't see the Dodgers dealing Broxton or Billingsley. John Perrotto wrote in his Sunday On The Beat article that Billz would be available in a trade this offseason. I just don't see it. I see him just having an off year in 2009 due to his jump in innings pitched in 2008. Broxton was one the best closers in baseball during the regular season, but for the second season in a row, Broxton blew up in the NLCS.

That leaves Russell Martin and James Loney. I have been down on Martin for two years now, so I would be happy if he was dealt as part of a package for an ace starting pitcher. I do like Loney, but the Dodgers need a power hitter at first base, and I could see them packaging him for ace starter as well.

Should LA trade Russell Martin, they could go out and sign Bengie Molina who still can hit for an old catcher. He batted cleanup for the Giants most of the 2009 season. If they decide to package Loney, they could move Casey Blake to first base, and go out and sign Adrian Beltre. Beltre is probably the best fielding third baseman in the game, and can still hit for power and steal a few bags.