The Dodgers Will Trade An Outfielder, Unless They Don’t

ethier_stands_outfield

I have to be honest, I’m not particularly interested in writing about trading one of the Dodger outfielders. We all know the score by now, don’t we? The team has four highly-paid outfielders, which is one too many even if you don’t consider Joc Pederson, except that all four can stay healthy at the same time precisely never. Trade one of them and risk having not enough healthy outfielders and more days where guys like Skip Schumaker & Jerry Hairston are starting; don’t trade one of them, and risk having an expensive, unhappy veteran on the bench.

That being said, it’s going to be a topic of conversation all winter long, so we can’t avoid it. Ken Rosenthal kicks it off today:

That possibility, in fact, already is in the works; the Dodgers, according to major-league sources, are listening on Matt KempAndre Ethier and Carl Crawford, telling prospective suitors, “If you’re interested in one of them, make us an offer.”

This is presented as news, but it’s not, really. “Team willing to not hang up on someone proposing a trade” isn’t really earth-shattering, and you should always really listen on every player, even if you have no real intention of moving them.

And that’s sort of the problem here. Even if you do want to trade one of them — and by “them” I mean Ethier, Kemp, and Crawford, because Yasiel Puig isn’t going anywhere —  their contracts and injury histories make it difficult to expect a solid return. Or as a “rival exec” replied to Rosenthal when asked which one was the most desirable, “none”.

Which is totally fair. I don’t need to remind you how painful Kemp’s 2013 was, nor of the $128m still due him. Crawford’s season was better than we had any right to expect considering just how uncertain he was after two awful years in Boston and Tommy John surgery; he’s also no longer a star, going to turn 33 next year, with $81.5m still coming, and missed time with hamstring injuries. And while Ethier certainly made himself a lot more valuable in the second half after making his extension look so, so bad one year in, he’s still an obviously flawed player who cannot hit lefties, will soon be 32, and has potentially $86.5m remaining if his reasonably attainable 2018 player option vests.

In the right deal, I’d move any of the three — yes, even Kemp, because while the fan in me wants him to be a Dodger forever, the objective observer in me understands that a trade can’t ever be off the table. And all have some amount of value, especially if the Dodgers eat a good deal of the contract, and Ethier seems to be the one most likely to move. (Mets fans and writers are already hypothesizing about it, actually, but Daniel Murphy isn’t that interesting and it’s certainly not like David Wright is coming back, so prepare yourself for mid-level minor leaguers.)

The problem is that for me, “the right deal” includes getting something useful back. It can’t just be a salary dump, especially in Kemp’s case, because I still believe he can be a high-quality player when healthy. But with so much money still due all three of these questionable players, it’s easy for another team to say “screw it, I’ll just get into the Carlos Beltran or Curtis Granderson” sweepstakes, for less risk and without sending back talent. That’s what makes finding “the right deal” difficult or potentially impossible. And that’s what’s going to make a winter of rumors around these three such a long, complicated one, because believe me, we haven’t heard the last of this.

526 comments
Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

So uh, any of you guys try watching Human Centipede? I tried and was bored.

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

I would be so sad if we traded kemp

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

did this place really die two hours ago?

InsideThePark (Ethier, Kemp, Puig)
InsideThePark (Ethier, Kemp, Puig)

Primary: Joc Pederson, Zach Lee, Corey Seager

Secondary: Chris Withrow, Ross Stripling, Chris Reed

Throw-ins: Dee Gordon, Tim Federowicz, Jose Dominguez

Jobu
Jobu

Have we traded Dre yet

efb
efb

Wait. did goat use his new gif yet? 

TaylorAllender
TaylorAllender

Can't get the site to load. Anyone know how Guerrero is doing tonight?

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

Can someone explain to me why the Rangers gave Elvis Andrus so much money? Is he like stunningly brilliant defensively? Because his offensive numbers are ... not impressive.

Lobo
Lobo

Time to watch A Clockwork Orange.  Been meaning to get to this one for a long long time

Jobu
Jobu

Don't worry its Dre to the Mets, you heard it here first

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@Jobu I want Tanaka. Badly. And I could see this being the last major FA splash we make for a while (if we do indeed sign him, that is). 

Jobu
Jobu

He went 2 for 5, including a double

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@dodgersdan I'd take him in a heartbeat. He's a top ten SS and he actually had a down year last year. 

Chavez Ravine Fiend
Chavez Ravine Fiend

Because his agent is Boras. Plus he plays good defense, steals about 40 bases, and isn't injury prone.

PagansOedipalComplex
PagansOedipalComplex

@dodgersdan he's worth his contract annually on his defense alone, he's pretty great defensively, besides this was a down year for him

Jobu
Jobu

Exactly, fuck Price. We get TANAKA and we get a younger pitcher with a high ceiling and keep our farm

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@Jobu *outside of Kershaw. But he doesn't count because he's home-grown. Muhahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

TaylorAllender
TaylorAllender

Found it. Looks like he went 1-5 with a single

And 2 strikeouts.

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

@PagansOedipalComplex @dodgersdan he'll be making nearly $15m/year through 2023, though... that seems pretty hefty for defense alone... and his offensive stats don't look that great, even in his best year. I mean they're good, but not great...

someone proposed Ethier, Withrow and Onelki plus $30m for Andrus and a Rangers IF prospect... seemed to be asking a lot to me.

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@Chavez Ravine Fiend oops. Yeah he went 1-5 today and also helped to turn two double plays. So overall he's 3-10 with a double, 3 SO, and zero BB.

Jobu
Jobu

Color me unimpressed with the Rangers infield, and yes that includes Profar