ESPN.com's Jim Bowden thinks so, as the Dodgers are one of three teams to get his recipe for future success. Here's Bowden's plan for the Dodgers' return to glory (link insider only):
Los Angeles Dodgers | Fifth place | NL West | 7½ GB
The Dodgers are the most expensive last-place team in baseball history, and yet they have enough star power to overcome a slow start with just a few shrewd moves.
First, a return to health by its star players is paramount. Consider the Dodgers have had to use the disabled list more than 15 times, with the likes of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Ellis, Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano all spending time on the DL.
The Dodgers got a big boost from rookie Yasiel Puig, whose promotion might not have happened without the injuries to Kemp and Crawford. Puig has taken over right field and it’s unlikely he’ll ever give it back. When healthy, an outfield of Puig, Kemp and Crawford will give the Dodgers one of the best power/speed combinations in baseball. The odd man out: Andre Ethier.
The Dodgers need upgrades at shortstop or third base, closer and/or bullpen depth and starting pitching. Ethier is in only the first year of his six-year, $95.95 million contract, so if the Dodgers are willing to eat enough of it (perhaps up to $5 million per year), they could get a significant prospect in return. Teams that should want Ethier include the Yankees, Mariners, Mets and Blue Jays.
OF Joc Pederson: Top OF prospect, but Dodgers have depth and could deal him.
SS Dee Gordon: Good pickup for a team that will gamble on his bat.
RHPs Chris Withrow, Matt Magill: Pitchers with good arms.
Utilitymen: Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker and Juan Uribe are solid throw-in type players for a blockbuster deal.
Shortstop: Alexei Ramirez and Stephen Drew
Third base: Aramis Ramirez, Brett Lawrie, Matt Dominguez and Mike Moustakas
Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon, Casey Janssen, Chris Perez, Aaron Crow, Jim Henderson, Drew Storen, Mike Dunn, Jose Veras, Ernesto Frieri, Mike Dunn and Jesse Crain.
Starting pitching: Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris and Jake Peavy
Ethier and $5 million, Pederson, Gordon, Magill and Withrow to the Chicago White Sox for Jake Peavy, Alexei Ramirez and Jesse Crain.
This deal could nearly solve all of the Dodgers’ ills in one fell swoop. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti deals from his surplus of outfielders and utilitymen to a team looking to get younger. With impending free agent Paul Konerko’s departure likely, Dayan Viciedo moves to first, opening left field for Ethier until Pederson is ready. (Ethier becomes DH when Adam Dunn's deal expires next year.)
For the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez at third base alongside Alexei Ramirez at short solidifies the problematic left side of the Dodgers’ infield.
With Billingsley lost to Tommy John surgery, Peavy would join Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke to give the Dodgers perhaps the NL’s best starting four.
Wow, that would sure be a lot of guys named Ramirez on this team all at once. Maybe this would presage Manny Ramirez's return (he's idle, you know)?