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Are the Dodgers going to trade an outfielder?

May 15, 2014, 12:26 PM EST

Los Angeles Dodgers batter Andre Ethier reacts in the dugout after he struck out against the New York Mets during their MLB National League baseball game in New York Reuters

Last season it wasn’t an issue because at least one player was always hurt, but this season the Dodgers have four very good outfielders for three starting spots with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier.

That means at least one of them is on the bench each game and it also means Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times asked general manager Ned Colletti if he plans to trade an outfielder:

It’s a situation we’re going to have to deal with. But we’re always going to be one injury away from not having to deal with it. It gives everybody a chance to take a breath, get a day. Everybody likes to play, but I think it’s sometimes beneficial to take a day.

Complicating things is that the guys the Dodgers might actually want to trade–read: not Puig–all have huge contracts that teams likely won’t be lining up to take on. And of course the Dodgers probably care less about dumping big contracts than any other team, so having too many good outfielders is a nice problem to have. For now at least.

Oh, and their fifth outfielder, Scott Van Slyke, is making the minimum salary while producing a .974 OPS in a part-time role.

  1. stex52 - May 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Puig is probably the only one they will get much of a deal for. This may just be the case where you are happy to be deep at the position.

    • moseskkim - May 15, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      puig is as untouchable as it gets. in a video game it might be a good situation to have 5 good outfielders (and Joc (6)) but baseball is a game of confidence/rhythm and its tough to get a rhythm when youre almost platooning every game. against a lefty: puig, kemp, van slyke. against a righty: crawford, ethier, puig/kemp. good for resting some injury prone players but really bad for rhythm and confidence

    • thetoolsofignorance - May 15, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      They are not trading Puig. If they do Dodger nation will probably attempt to harm them all.

      • akgobears - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        Dodger nation ?? you mean the ones that all leave the game by the 7th inning ???

      • thetoolsofignorance - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Month old news interests you? How odd…

  2. unlost1 - May 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Joc Pederson is waiting in the wings too

  3. senioreditor2 - May 15, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    If they’re not going to sign Hanley maybe they can package him and an outfielder for infield and catching help?

  4. Old Gator - May 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Listen, you had to see the clown show these guys put on last night against the Feesh – misjudged balls, catchable balls dropping untouched, overrunning the ball on the ground, guys climbing the outfield fences with their back to the ball in flight so they couldn’t see it to catch it anyway – quite a series of performances. Bugs Bunny would have beaten the Bums last night.

    • mkprz - May 15, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      I was there. I endured the whole circus just to see if the Marlins could make 20.

      • Old Gator - May 15, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        In the immortal words of Ash the android, you have my sympathy. Being a Feesherman, I have naturally seen and endured far more than my fair share of games like that myself. It leaves me wondering how big a son of a bitch I could possibly have been in a past life to have brought this team upon myself. At least you enjoy knowing your ownership will be proactive about improving things. Ironically, here in the tropics proactivity is comparable to glacial melting.

  5. cohnjusack - May 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I object to calling Carl Crawford “very good”. Over the past four seasons, he’s posted a 96 OPS+ and a negative dWAR. In addition, he can’t stay healthy and is nowhere close to stealing 50 bases a year anymore.

    • klingonj - May 15, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      I guess that means he is destined for the Yankees…………….

      • apkyletexas - May 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Not old enough for the Phillies. Five or six more years maybe…

    • moseskkim - May 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      good point.. crawford is a mediocre player.. ethier i think can be a solid middle bat for a team especially in a hitters park. kemp, when healthy and firing on all cylinders, is a superstar. puig looks like hes a really good player with globs of potential. van slyke looks dang good too. so mediocre, good, can be excellent, very good, and good.

    • TheMorningStar - May 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      The myth of Carl Crawford has gotten to Gleeman as well apparently.

  6. scatterbrian - May 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    No, Ned. This situation would work in the AL with a DH, or if one of the OFs could play another position.

  7. TheMorningStar - May 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    You can take Crawford off the list….no one will EVER trade for him with that awful contract.

    Just how does Coletti still have a job???

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 15, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      For one thing, Ned Colleti didn’t write up that contract.

      Of course, I keep forgetting, reality doesn’t really matter when talking about baseball contracts and the people who drafted them, approved them, and signed them. Because what really matters is the guy who traded to get that awful contract in order to obtain the 1st baseman that GM really wanted.

      I love Groundhog Day.

      For one thing, Ned Colleti didn’t write up that contract….

      • 18thstreet - May 15, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        So, if I understand you correctly, and if I may put words in your mouth that you didn’t remotely say:

        Ned was willing to pay $35 million/year to Adrian Gonzalez and $5 million/year to Carl Crawford. And that’s better than an indefensible $20 million for Crawford and a thoroughly defensible $20 million for Gonzalez. Because, to me, they’re both crazy.

        Also, Webster and De La Rosa may never make it as big leaguers, but they certainly are not chopped liver. It was a really bad trade from your side.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        I think the Dodgers have gone farther the last two seasons with the trade than they would have without. Webster and Dela Rosa may be great in 5 years, but they weren’t going to do anything for the Dodgers now. Not when they netted us Gonzalez who had been on the Dodgers wish list for about 5 seasons. So considering the state of affairs on the Dodgers when the trade was made, they definitely improved themselves at the time, especially since cost meant nothing.

        Dodger fans haven’t really bitched about Crawford. He’s not the best outfielder. He’s not as fast as he used to be. His hitting is sporadic, but he’s not a menace to our team, and he goes out there like a professional. That’s all the Dodgers want from their high priced talent – to behave professionally and play smart ball. Last night sucked and failed in many ways, but that’s a low point, not a regular situation for this team.

      • TheMorningStar - May 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Very true, Coletti didn’t draw up the terms of that awful contract…he just traded away top prospects for it (and Becketts’, and Gonzalez’).

        So let me ask again: How does Coletti still have a job???

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        You’re calling out Gonzalez (9 HR/ 28 RBI) and Beckett (2.38 ERA) as bad decisions on this trade and you want me to justify your claim that Coletti is a bad GM by arguing with you?

        Keep patting yourself on the back there, Champ.

      • TheMorningStar - May 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Given their production vs. their salaries, I am absolutely calling out both players…and Colletti’s sanity.

        No need to pat myself on the back; the trade is widely viewed as one of the greatest of all time…in Boston’s favor. It was directly responsible for the Red Sox’ 2013 championship AND it gives the team payroll flexibility for years to come.

        But hey, pat yourself on the back…how many titles have the Dodgers secured since the ‘trade’?

      • TheMorningStar - May 15, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        No need to arg

    • apkyletexas - May 15, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Oh, I don’t know – maybe it’s the unlimited BILLIONS at his disposal to cover up his mistakes with???

  8. mkprz - May 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    It is so sad, that a CATCHER had to come in and pitch a perfect ninth inning.

  9. sisisisisisisi - May 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Crawford and Ethier, very good outfielders.

    NOT

  10. mkprz - May 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    The Fans deserve and apology and a refund for what we are paying for.
    Time Warner won’t let anyone see games unless they have Time Warner, but only a fraction of the city can actually get TW.
    That was an $8,000,000,000, 20- year deal with eh Dodgers.
    Beer? Forget it. You’re looking at $11-$13 beer. Food is out of control. Ticket prices are skyrocketing.
    All this, to pay for the big contracts, for players that won’t perform, that fan can’t see.
    We miss McCourt.
    The only thing missing last night was the tiny car with the 20 clowns getting out.

    • hittfamily - May 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Become a Rays fan. Free parking with more than 2 people in the car. 5 dollar beers. Bring a cooler with your own food. Games available Florida wide on Fox Sports Florida. Routine playoff expectations. $40 for a seat 30 rows up directly behind home plate. No rain outs. 70 degree air conditioned air on 90 degree nights.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      You miss McCourt? Isn’t he the guy who didn’t sell the team for less than $2.4 billion because of the TV contract he was working on?

      But good old Frankie, huh. We wouldn’t have this discussion about Carl Crawford because we would have had Juan Rivera, Tony Gwynn Jr, Alex Castellanos, Jerry Sands, Elian Herrera, and/or Shane Victorino patrolling LF instead.

      History. It’s swell.

      • TheMorningStar - May 15, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Jerry Sands?? Are you delusional???

    • asimonetti88 - May 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      “We miss McCourt.”

      Tell ya what. You get McCourt back, we’ll take Guggenheim and Arte Moreno can go back to doing whatever it is he does.

    • Reflex - May 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      1) Dodgers tickets are expensive because they are in demand
      2) The current ownership group actually fielded a competitive product
      3) Yes, stadium prices on concessions are crazy. At every stadium. Except maybe the Rays.
      4) McCourt was insane, did many potentially illegal things, spent money on magic gurus in Boston to send winning vibes to the team, and drained every bit of cash out of the franchise that he could via a wide variety of shell companies. In no way was he a good owner or better for the fans.

      If you miss McCourt, you are insane as well.

      • danfrommv - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        McCourt was “insane” enough to borrow $400 million to buy the Dodgers and make $2.2B from it. He turned nothing in to $2.2 Billion. I don’t like the man, but you have to respect his accomplishment.

      • Reflex - Jun 9, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        I would respect it more if it wasn’t a default thing. Sports teams appreciate in value at extremely high rates. The ‘accomplishment’ is the same accomplishment every single owner of every single franchise over the past 30 years has achieved since all sports franchises have appreciated dramatically in value such that even a crappy franchise like the Clippers is worth 2 billion now.

        So no, I do not respect this ‘accomplishment’. And yes, many of his actions were downright insane. Like hiring a Russian positive energy guru to ‘channel winning energy’ to his team over the tv during games. Read up on how McCourt and his wife ran that club, it was flat out idiotic.

  11. xpensivewinos - May 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    See that, you do learn something new every day.

    I was not aware that Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier were still considered “very good outfielders.”

    • bolweevils2 - May 15, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      OK, Ethier hasn’t shown much so far this year. But the last 2 years he’s been a 3 win player by WAR, and that’s not chopped liver. That put him in the top 20 for NL outfielders last year. Now top 20 out of 45 NL total OF positions doesn’t make you a star, but it’s not bad.

  12. hittfamily - May 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Andre Ethier is basically Matt Joyce, but making 20 mil a year. They would have to eat all of either Crawford’s or Ethier’s salary to move either. Ideally, they swap a bad outfield contract for a bad infield contract. Arod to LA to take over for Uribe next year? Arod would have to accept it, but maybe he would. He clearly doesn’t like Cashman or the team doctors.

    Then the Yankees would get to pay Vernon Wells, Ichiro, Alfonso Soriano, and Carl Crawford/Eithier, and none of them would start!

    I think the most beneficial trade to both teams would be a Lincicum/Crawford swap. Timmy could go to the pen, where he belongs, and Crawford could use the big gaps to flash his speed and leg out some triples.

  13. musketmaniac - May 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    That’s a pretty good four, not much youth, is Van slyke in their future plans. My pirates barring injury look like the best outfield in the near future. McCutcheon, Marte and Polonco.

  14. pwshrugged - May 15, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Better question is whether or not they’ll trade an infielder. Uribe and Gordon are having above-average seasons, holding Alex Guerrero in the minors. Guerrero’s raking, and while they might say all they want about working on his defense, they’re still paying him what… $7M to play 2B in AAA? There’s no service time holdup there, either, so it’s just a matter of an opportunity presenting itself. Gordon could end up being very interesting trade bait if he keeps hitting, although I imagine their ideal situation is a final infield of Gonzo-Guerrero-Gordon-Ramirez.

    Hard to imagine what the Dodgers would want in a trade, though. They’re a ridiculously deep team right now, and any moves they make would just be for depth. No reason not to just stand firm and make sure no one blows out a limb between now and July, and use depth to fill any sudden leaks at the deadline.

  15. dilwad - May 16, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Dodgers=NON FACTOR who cares what they do.

  16. romath - May 16, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    The Dodgers’ problem this season has been relief pitching, middle, short and close. Check the box scores almost daily to see which pitcher has given up the runs that cost them the game.

  17. danfrommv - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    The only way they trade Crawford, Ethier, or Kemp is to eat a huge part of the remainder of their contracts. If they do so, they may get some needed help (2nd base, catcher, RP). If not, no one is going to overpay for those players.

  18. akgobears - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    So far now for the 3rd season in a row Dodger blue is finding out that trying to buy themselves a world series only buys them a seat in front of the TV to watch it……

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