According to FoxSports.com writer Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Dodgers are open to the prospect of moving any one of their three veteran outfielders: “That possibility, in fact, already is in the works; the Dodgers, according to major-league sources, are listening on Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, telling prospective suitors, ‘If you’re interested in one of them, make us an offer.’”
The Dodgers have signed each of these three veteran outfielders to hefty and lengthy contracts – eight years and $160 million for Kemp, six years and $96 million for Ethier and seven years and $142 million for Crawford – each of which lasts at least four more years. With all of the outfield injuries this season, the organization was forced to bring up their international prospect, Yasiel Puig, and we all know how that turned out as the Cuban just landed himself in the Top 25 of the Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players.
With the ball club’s number one prospect in Joc Pederson being an outfielder as well, the Dodgers have a well documented logjam. A big trade this winter almost seems to be an inevitable consequence of the Dodgers’ talent overload. Now two questions remain: Which outfielders to keep and what to get in return.
I have already expressed my opinion on keeping Kemp, which you can check out in this article. I also believe the Dodgers ought not to let go of Puig as he is one of the great young talents in baseball. From there, comparing Ethier and Crawford is difficult.
Crawford was very good in his first season with Los Angeles and Ethier’s past two seasons have backslid a bit. Nevertheless, Ethier’s arm is stronger than Crawford’s and the former can also rotate in the outfield while Crawford is almost strictly a leftfielder. Both are in their early thirties, so age does not matter much, but Crawford has been playing in the majors four years longer than Ethier, so his body may be a bit more worn. Crawford was a speedster in the past, but those days of swiping bases seem to be over.
It really does come down to a coin flip with these two, but because of longevity and defensive talent, I would be tempted to say keep Ethier and let Crawford go. Either way, or even if the Dodgers do let Kemp or Ethier go, if the team’s management is taking offers for anything, it will be fascinating to hear about all the prospective ball players that could become Dodgers in 2014. Stay tuned and get ready for a fun ride full of rumors and whispers.