The Los Angeles Dodgers came though this offseason when it came to retaining Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, but the the team still has questions at second base. Even though the team has left open the posibility of bringing back Chase Utley, it would likely be in a bench role. No matter what they choose, Utley’s best days are behind him and the Dodgers have yet to find his successor.
Dodgers Second Base Question Still Unanswered
The Dodgers have been mulling over a few options on the trade market. Most notably has been Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers. Due to make $11 million in 2017, with a team option of $12 million for 2018, Kinsler could be a one-year rental for the Dodgers at minimum, saving them from having to give him a pay day if they don’t want to.
Logan Forsythe of the Tampa Bay Rays and, more recently, Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins are two other options that the Dodgers have been looking at; however, getting either would likely require giving up key prospects. As Ken Rosenthal explains, the Dodgers are loaded with prospects and may be willing to part ways with Jose De Leon at the least, if not more. The question is, would it be worth it?
After all, the Dodgers still have a loaded outfield, a problem that never seems to go away each offseason. The most notable of those outfielders are Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier. Even though Puig proved to be productive down the stretch after spending some time with Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Dodgers often found themselves living pretty well without him. Ethier, for his part, missed out on the majority of the regular season; Trayce Thompson and Andrew Toles helped fill the void, in addition to Josh Reddick, who is now with the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers already gave up prospect Jharel Cotton to acquire Reddick at the 2016 deadline in a trade with the Oakland A’s. Even though the trade paid off in the short term by bringing a much needed arm to the pitching rotation in Rich Hill, Reddick can arguably be called a bust. After coming in to replace a struggling Puig, Reddick was forced to share right field after he wasn’t good enough to keep Puig submerged in the minors. The true cost will be determined by how far Hill will the take Los Angeles over the life of his three-year deal with the Dodgers, and by what the A’s get out of Cotton for themselves (or from another team).
Regardless of how they do it, the Dodgers ultimately need to find an answer. Whether it’s mortgaging the future of their organization, or losing some cash to give away Ethier or Puig, they’ll need someone to at minimum play the majority of the time over Utley, if not replace him completely. The right move could put the finishing touch on one of the best infields the organization has ever seen.