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The Dodgers have four outfielders. A fifth is raking at Triple-A

Apr 16, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 1.28.46 PM Getty Images

High class problems. Don Mattingly is trying to juggle Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford in his outfield. Now there’s a fifth candidate for major league outfield time smacking the heck out of baseballs.

Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson went 4-for-4 with a two home runs, a double, walk and five RBI for Triple-A Albuquerque yesterday. The 21-year-old is now hitting .442/.564/.844 with four doubles, five home runs and four steals in his first 12 games.

Of course there’s very little chance he’s going to get big league playing time any time soon. At least barring a couple of injuries. Or a frontal assault on Dodger Stadium by smugglers some folks are worried about.

  1. shawnuel - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    It seems like a Pederson for Nick Franklin deal could make some sense. Seattle could use outfield help. LA has a future, if not immediate need for middle infield help.

    • brianincbus - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      Except for the fact that Franklin is nowhere near as good of a prospect as Pederson is.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Untrue. Franklin is considered one of the best prospects in the league. And like Pederson, he plays a premium defensive position.

      • biasedhomer - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        Except for the fact that you are wrong. Franklin has been held in much higher regard than Pederson.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM


      • timmmah10 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Are you guys seriously debating the over-rating of Nick Franklin?

    • Reflex - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      This would work well for the M’s, but the thing is that Franklin is MLB ready, you don’t stash him on the farm at this point.

      • timmmah10 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Franklin would get in line behind Alex Guerrero and Dee Gordon at the chance to play 2B.

        Not sure how this would benefit the Dodgers at all… now if you want to say Boston should move Will Middlebrooks or Brock Holt for one of the Dodger OFs, or another team that might have a good young 3B up and coming that is blocked, then you might have a legit trade opportunity. But the Dodgers are pretty solid around the rest of the field.

      • Reflex - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Gordon will revert, he was not a high upside player. And at the time these comments were made, in April, nobody knew if Guerrero would hit. All that said, Ramirez should be the future 3B for the Dodgers, which leaves both second and short available. I still think Franklin would make a lot of sense for them.

  2. jm91rs - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    They have this kind of depth pretty much everywhere on their team. I’d say around the deadline they could trade one of the higher paid outfielders for a pitcher or another position of need, but they don’t have many positions of need.

    • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Except second base, catcher, and starting pitching.

      • drewy44 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Yes, a hitting catcher would be great. Uribe and Gordon are playing out of their minds right now, so that crash should come soon too.

        1-4 is solid (ok..maybe not Beckett), but have you see our bullpen lately? Hard to hold down leads trotting out B-League and Jamey Wright. I’d rather have more bullpen arms, to be honest.

      • stercuilus65 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Yeah starting pitching is and area of need (rolls eyes) and check out how Gordon has been doing at second (with Guerrero tuning up in the minors).
        Other than that that was very insightful!

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Beckett? Maholm? Billingsley? You need starters. Just wait until you get matched up against someone other than the pitiful D-backs.

        And I am betting against Gordon in the long run, and judging Guerrero’s talents on 15 ABs in hitter friendly Albuquerque is lame.

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        The Dodgers are 7-1 against the D-Backs and Padres, 2-5 against the tougher Tigers and Giants. That would give me pause, and probably keep me from eye-rolling.

  3. senioreditor2 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Maybe they can package him with othersfor Price or Scherzer?

    • largebill - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Price is the most likely target if the depth holds up. However, today’s depth could be next weeks starting lineup.

  4. mattinglyschmidt - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    The Cardinals have Holliday, Bourjos, Allen and Jay, with Tavares, Piscotty and Grichuk all hitting well in AAA, and 2012 1st round pick James Ramsey tearing it up in AA with nowhere to go!

  5. yahmule - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    The Dodgers aren’t going to trade him. He doesn’t turn 22 until next week and the only thing potentially holding him back from being a star at the next level is a current weakness against LHP.

    • vanmorrissey - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      Agreed. Any of the 3, Crawford, Kemp, Puig, are a known hamstring pull from another DL. Let it play out, someone will get hurt and he’ll get called up.

  6. lew24 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    You forgot about Scott Van Slyke…he’s the 5th Beatle!

  7. rcali - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Um, they paid a fortunate for that outfield, let’s not forget.

    • stercuilus65 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      A fortunate?

  8. weaselpuppy - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Ethier or Crawford (or both) will go at some point in the next 18 months with most of their contracts paid by the Dodgers. $56MM owed to Ethier from 2015-2017 (assuming buyout not picked up) for ages 33-35 or $64MM owed Crawford for 2015-17 for ages 33-35….

    Ethier may be untradeable given his negative defensive value and his so far cringeworthy start after hitting a major decline offensively since age 29. Pure dump deal with him, not much if anything coming back.

    Craword could re-establish some value with a healthy year, giving him 2 in a row, albeit nowhere near the numbers he used to put up. He’s no great shakes as a defender either, but if his wheels come back and he stays healthy, he could get back something…but at $21MM a year for a guy that is a lot closer to Jose Tabata than Starling Marte, maybe not much coming back at all…

    Los Tigres could be in on him if the price is a set up guy and the Dodgers eat 1/2 to 2/3 of the salary…

    HanRam’s contract is coming up….

  9. kindasporty - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    “At least barring a couple of injuries.”

    With this group, that is a very likely possibility.

  10. anxovies - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    I saw the game last night and Pederson is a terrific prospect, lots of power on a chilly night. A good OF too, he can run, catch and throw in CF. He’s not extra big but has a powerful frame and hits the ball hard. I think that they may have to bring him up at some point this year to avoid Rule 5, which means that either Crawford or Ethier will have to be moved unless they decide to trade Pederson. Former MLB catcher Miguel Olivo also hit two HR in the game.

  11. 13arod - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    shawnuel Alexander Guerrero idiot

  12. chuckleberry1974 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Maybe a trade with the O’s involving J. Schoop….. Someone needs to permanently lock down LF for the Orioles. Both Delmon Young and Nelson Cruz are on 1 year deals, and David Lough was an old rookie last year. Plus, Markakis is in a contract year.

  13. djpostl - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    All of this is predicated on thr assumption that the guys they have are good, rather than just pricey.

    Ethier hasn’t been much, especially versus lefties, for a while now. Crawford seems to be slowly returning to decent form (though still plays nowhere near his pricetag). Kemp is seemingly held together with duct tape and bailing wire and Puig has his own baggage.

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