Are the Dodgers Unhappy With Casey Blake?

I’ve had my share of issues with him, to be sure, he had a bad power slump in the second half of 2009, and he was horrific in the playoffs (particularly the NLCS). Still, his line of .280/.363/.468 with surprisingly improved defense was pretty solid, and since the Dodgers already don’t have the means to fill their other holes, I was suprised to read this in Baseball Prospectus’ Winter Meetings preview:

Dodgers: They are basically paralyzed by owner Frank McCourt’s divorce, not knowing what effect it might have on their 2010 payroll. The Dodgers would like a more potent third baseman than Casey Blake, and a mid-rotation starter, but the don’t have anyone they can afford to give up beyond outfielder Jose Pierre [sic], who is drawing minimal interest.

That’s the first I’ve read anywhere about the possibility of looking for a new 3B. Placido Polanco’s already signed with Philadelphia and Chone Figgins is all but signed with Seattle; beyond them, the FA 3B group includes guys like Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, Joe Crede, and Troy Glaus. They’re not without their uses, but none who are immediately obvious upgrades over Blake (depending on how Beltre’s bat bounces back to go with his outstanding glove, I suppose.)

I’ve been advocating pretty much since day one that Blake’s appropriate role really ought to be as a power bat off the bench who can play all four corners, providing some flexibility. But with the rotation and second base being much larger holes, I can’t see any moves happening this offseason with Blake. Thoughts?

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