The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball, but even they have a few weaknesses. They’re currently using James Loney at first base, and he’s been one of the worst first baseman in the league over the past few years. So far Loney has rewarded the Dodgers with 2 home runs and a 690 OPS, both of which are completely unacceptable from a 1B on a contending team. This weakness has led to several MLB Rumors involving the Los Angeles Dodgers searching for a new hitter at first.
The Dodgers lineup has been fairly weak without Matt Kemp, and with the San Francisco Giants just 3.5 games back the MLB Rumours are suggesting that the Dodgers could be looking for an upgrade. There are several options for the Dodgers to look at, so let’s see who could make an impact over the next few months.
Bryan LaHair has been involved in several MLB Rumors given his hot start and the struggles of the Chicago Cubs. This season he’s hitting 303 with 12 homers and 26 RBI. He’s been pretty ineffective with runners on base, so he might not be the best choice for the Dodgers. Still, he’s a significantly better option than Loney and depending on his cost it would be a worthy addition for the Dodgers.
Another option at first base is Edwin Encarnacion. While it’s unlikely the Toronto Blue Jays will move him before July, if they continue their free fall they might be interested in moving Encarnacion. Edwin has been a beast this season, hitting 281 with 17 homers and 44 RBI. He started a game in left field this season, and it’s possible the Dodgers could play him in left and add another first baseman. Of course, given their shallow talent pool it might be difficult to acquire Encarnacion.
The Milwaukee Brewers were expected to contend, but given their poor start they might be interested in moving Corey Hart. He’s signed through next year at $10 million, and that money could be better used to help extend Zack Greinke. Hart is having a solid season, hitting 13 home runs to go along with an 811 OPS. Those are solid numbers which would be a nice offensive boost for a team lacking power.
The final option for the Dodgers might be Justin Morneau. The Minnesota Twins aren’t likely to move him, but if they do the Dodgers make an excellent trading partner. They would be able to absorb the $14 million on his contract next season, which would likely lower the asking price in terms of prospects. Morneau has had a deceptively good season, posting a 279/344/616 batting line away from Target Field, his home stadium. A move to a somewhat more friendly ballpark would help Morenau’s production, as would a likely run for the playoffs.
It’s worth pointing out that the Dodgers farm system isn’t very strong, so it will be difficult to make some deals. However, their willingness to take on salary should help them acquire a first baseman, so it should be a matter of time before they upgrade their offence.