Could Dodgers Trade Chris Taylor? Urias Extension? Future at 3B and More | DN Mailbag
The new season is finally officially here and we’re ready to talk about your Los Angeles Dodgers all the way through another National League West division crown and beyond! This season at Dodgers Nation, we’re excited to bring back our “DNmailbag” after a long hiatus. Keep an eye out for your opportunity to ask questions on our Twitter page (check the hashtag #DNmailbag), on our Facebook Group (@officialdodgersnation), or on our YouTube Community page.
We’ll open the season doing this monthly but if we’re all having fun with it, we can do it more frequently.
Without further ado, here are your questions (some may be edited for clarity). Answers from myself and associate editor Noah Camras.
Will Will Smith will the Dodgers into a chip… willfully? – @oldlucky777
The classic will they, won’t they conundrum. Will will be relied upon more than ever as a run producer for the Dodgers this season. Dave Roberts said he’ll open the season batting third behind Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman and will be counted on to keep the line moving for a lineup that doesn’t have Justin Turner or Trea Turner anymore. Notably, with J.D. Martinez in the mix as the full time DH, Smitty might get more true days off than in recent seasons.
As Smith goes, the Dodgers will go. If he goes, he could be hoisting his second World Series trophy in five seasons as a big leaguer. If he’s not named to the NL All-Star squad, we should be concerned. – Clint P.
Love Chris Taylor, his defense is great but sadly his offense hasn’t come through … will the Dodgers trade him? – @ltl_oak
Chris Taylor is entering year two of a four-year, $60 million extension he signed last offseason. After enduring his worst year as a member of the Dodgers in 2022, he’s off to another slow start this spring, and appears to be entering a full-time platoon in the outfield.
He’s been far from the player that was deserving of that contract, and that contract is the main reason there’s no way he gets traded anytime soon. At this point, baseball trade values has Taylor valued at just 1.3 — that’s very, very low. No one wants to add a 32-year-old declining outfielder who’s getting $15 million a season. So for better or for worse, Taylor is going to have to figure things out in a Dodger uniform. – Noah C.
Do the Dodgers have any true 3B prospects in the pipeline and what’s their long-term plan at the hot corner? – @TheEvverymann
The short answer is no. At least for the prospect question. Kody Hoese had some hype behind him a few seasons ago but he fell off a cliff statistically after the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. He’s now 25 and a long way away from the big leagues.
Notably, Miguel Vargas has played a lot of third base at the minor league level but the team moved him to second this season, casting some doubt on his future at the hot corner. The long-term plan? The team really hopes Max Muncy can lock down the position for the next few years. – Clint P.
Will the Dodgers try to sign Julio Urias during the year or wait till seasons end? – Albert Cervantes, DN Facebook Group
Whether they try to or not, Julio Urias will not be signing an extension before entering free agency. Since Urias began his MLB career at the young age of just 19 years old, he’s the rare case of an ace-caliber pitcher getting set to enter unrestricted free agency at 27 years old.
Because of that, and due to the fact that his agent is Scott Boras, Urias is sure to get a massive deal this offseason, and would be foolish to accept any offer from the Dodgers before heading to the open market. Is there a chance the Dodgers agree to a long-term extension with Julio? Absolutely. But is it going to be before the offseason? Unfortunately not. – Noah C.
What’s the realistic timeline for Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Michael Busch, and Andy Pages to make it to the big leagues? – Maxine Gaines, DN FB Group
- Diego Cartaya: 2024 (possibly not with the Dodgers?).
- Bobby Miller: 2023.
- Michael Busch: 2023. He’s ready as a hitter now but he has nowhere to play in LA. He may make his debut with the Dodgers this season but he is a prime trade candidate at this year’s deadline, if not sooner.
- Andy Pages: 2024-2025.
How long will it take for James Outman to become an everyday starter, regardless of lefty or righty starting pitching on the mound? – Andrew Moyer, DN FB Group
The Dodgers have quite the logjam in the outfield right now, between James Outman, Chris Taylor, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson and Jason Heyward fighting for two spots alongside Mookie Betts. So, it’s definitely going to be a lot of platooning, at least early in the season, until someone’s play forces them to be in a more consistent role.
So, if Outman is able to dominate against both righties and lefties — although he won’t have a lot of opportunities against lefties early in the season — he could force Dave Roberts to play him on a more consistent basis. But if multiple guys are playing well, and the platoon seems to be working, I don’t expect to see anyone emerge as an everyday outfielder except for, of course, Mookie Betts. – Noah C.
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Gavin Stone will probably make his debut at some point this season.
Diego Cartaya’s future with the Dodgers, three things have to happen here.
#1, Cartaya tears up the ball in the minors at every level this year.
#2, Jordan Walker proves himself ready to be a prime time player!
#3, Wilson Contreaus doesn’t do the job for the Cardinals at catcher.
Trade proposal, Cartaya for Walker straight up.
A lot of ifs but, who knows? Would/could possibly solve 3B position for the Dodgers and catcher position for the Cardinals. Dodgers still have Will Smith, Austin Barnes with Dalton Rushing developing in the minors. Probably need to keep an eagle eye on his development this season also.