Monday, June 04, 2012

Olney Previews Potential Dodger Trade Options

The most prolific baseball writer at ESPN.com, Buster Olney, considered some options for the Dodgers to upgrade via trade: (link insider only)

Even before Kemp reinjured his hamstring, the Dodgers had started calling around to check on players available in the trade market and found the pickings very slim. Few teams have actually decided to be sellers, and there aren't matches yet for L.A., which needs offensive production.

The Dodgers don't have a high volume of prospects to deal. What they do have, under their new ownership, is money. They are better fits in deals in which they take on salary while giving up second- or third-line minor leaguers.

Following are some of the players who theoretically could be a possible trade fit for the Dodgers (and this is speculation, at this point):

Kevin Youkilis, Boston: He is in the last year of his current deal, and since coming off the disabled list, Youkilis is hitting .310, with a .371 on-base percentage; opposing general managers wanted to see Youkilis demonstrate that he can be productive, and he is doing that so far.

Youkilis is making $13 million, and the Red Sox could be motivated to move him for a couple of reasons: First, to create more payroll flexibility to deal with their own midseason trade needs, and second, to solve the logjam they have with third baseman Will Middlebrooks and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez; Gonzalez, of course, has been repeatedly asked to play right field.

Youkilis could play third for the Dodgers, or first base, if the team looks for an upgrade over Loney.

Carlos Lee, Houston: He is in the last year of his six-year, $100 million deal, and he would have to approve any trade proposal. The perception of Lee has been that he is reluctant to leave the Houston area because he prefers to be closer to his ranch -- but perhaps he'll be more flexible about this under the right circumstance, as he prepares for free agency.

Lee would make sense for the Dodgers only if the Astros ate a lot of the $12.5 million owed to him for the rest of this year, and if L.A. went after him as a first baseman. Lee is hitting .298 with four homers and 23 RBIs.

Nick Swisher, Yankees: He is a free agent at the end of this season and is currently hitting .244, with a .299 on-base percentage and eight homers. The Dodgers do have some depth in their bullpen to offer the Yankees, who may look to bolster that part of their roster this summer, and Swisher probably doesn't fit into New York's long-term plans. Swisher could play first, or right field, or left. (To repeat: This is speculation.) Swisher is making $10.25 million this season.

Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, Cubs. Both are role players and could be good intermediate acquisitions for the Dodgers. Johnson is hitting .260, with a .321 on-base percentage -- and the Cubs are one of the few teams willing to talk trade right now.

Whomever we pick up (if anyone) will be not only a huge statement on how seriously we are taking the 2012 season, but also what sort of imprint new ownership wants to leave on this organization. Choose...wisely.

4 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

NO CUBS!

Spank LeBum said...

NO RED SOX!

Jason said...

Speaking of the Cubs, they signed Hong-Chih Kuo to a minor league deal over the weekend.

I'm pulling for old rubber bands and duct tape to make it back to the bigs this year.

Jason said...

NO ONIONS ON MY BREAKFAST BURRITO!