By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on April 13, 2014
The Los Angeles Dodgers surpassed the New York Yankees this offseason and had the highest payroll in MLB on Opening Day. GM Ned Colletti has spent a lot of money to bring top-caliber players to Los Angeles. The moves have created an excess of talent in some positions, including the outfield and the starting rotation. The excess in talent has the Dodgers in prime position to shop players on the trade block this season.
Brandon League is a member of the Dodgers bullpen at the moment, but he could find himself on the move this season. League is at the bottom of the totem pole and his numbers are not helping his cause. He struggled last season, posting a 5.30 ERA in 35 appearances and has followed that up by posting a 5.79 ERA in 4.2 innings this season. Brian Wilson is eligible to return from the DL on April 15 and League could be the odd man out.
Chone Figgins is on the comeback trail this season. After sitting out last year, Figgins came back to make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster this season. Figgins is 36, but he looks to have a little bit left in the tank. With infield prospect Alex Guerrero waiting in the minors and utility infielder Justin Turner providing depth to the big league club, Figgins could find himself on the trade block.
Paul Maholm lost out on the fifth starter job to Josh Beckett out of Spring Training, but finds himself in the starting rotation due to injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley. Maholm has virtually no shot at staying in the rotation when both players return, and the Dodgers could opt to shop him.
The Dodgers have a problem in the outfield, as there are four star outfielders and only three spots. The Dodgers will likely be forced to deal one of the four, and Ethier is the most likely to go. He is behind Carl Crawford in left and Yasiel Puig in right, and Matt Kemp will start in center when healthy. The Dodgers also have Scott Van Slyke as a reserve who can also play first base, so Ethier could be expendable.
With Hanley Ramirez's contract up at the end of the season, the Dodgers could opt to trade the shortstop in order to get something in return for him. Ramirez seems content in Los Angeles, but if a team like the New York Yankees came calling with more money in the offseason, Ramirez could easily leave. I wouldn't say that trading Ramirez is a likely move for the Dodgers, but the team could consider it.
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