By Bob Garcia IV @bgarcia90 on May 23, 2014
With the Los Angels Dodgers owning the league's highest payroll, the team features a deep roster across the board with a mixture of veterans and young players. Among that group there are a select few players who are hard to come by for any organization in MLB. Here are the Dodgers' five most irreplaceable players right now.
Outside of Kershaw, Grienke has been Los Angeles' most reliable pitcher over the past two seasons. He has also carried that into 2014 as he is making an early case as a potential Cy Young candidate. In a Dodgers uniform he has not only so far lived up to his lucrative contract, but has also been a great No. 2 pitcher. The cases could be made that Grienke would be the ace of several pitching staffs across the league. He has been that good.
Along with Adrian Gonzalez, Ramirez has played a big part in helping change the culture of the Dodgers since being acquired by the team in 2012. He has been solid contributor offensively when healthy and a great mentor to Yasiel Puig as he continues to make strides in his development. Ramirez is a great clubhouse guy, and the former All-Star also possesses many intangibles that a team looks for in a player.
Gonzalez has been a provided the Dodgers with steady production at first base since arriving in the 2012 season. He has played a major part in helping reshape the culture and climate in Los Angeles by being one of the leaders of the clubhouse and leading by example with his play on the field. Gonzalez's overwhelming value to the Dodgers would make it difficult to find someone who can replace what he has done over the past year and half in L.A.
Since being called up to the majors last season, Puig has been a light bolt of energy for the Dodgers' lineup with his bat and in the field with his glove. Although he has some growing up to do, he has the talent to be one of the league's best players for years to come if he continues to mature on and off the field. With that said, Puig is a major part of the Dodgers' future plans and is a player they would have much difficulty replacing.
As the face of the Dodgers, the two-time Cy Young winner over the past three seasons has been the best pitcher in baseball. He is an invaluable part of Los Angeles' pitching staff as the team's ace. Kershaw is only in his mid 20s and will continue to get better over the next few seasons. To say he is the Dodgers' most important player would be a vast understatement.
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