But that’s what the Los Angeles Dodgers did this winter when they let Hanley Ramirez walk and traded Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp. Of course, they did get some help in return in Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick, as well as catcher Yasmani Grandal. While the lineup will lack the speed and pop from the three, it is stronger up and down than last season.
In a press conference following the introduction of Howie Kendrick, Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, talked about the offensive status of the team he built this offseason:
I think we have a deep lineup with real life to it. Guys coming off the bench that fit in well with some of our starters. I think we’re going to have a good offensive team.”
However, Friedman did note that losing Gordon at second base was a tough move to make:
He’s a dynamic player and when you get talent back, you obviously have to give up something. It wasn’t easy for us to trade Dee. He brought a dynamic to our lineup that we’re certainly going to miss.”
It’s safe to say the Dodger offense will look a bit different from last year, opting for doubles rather than the longball. Rollins and Kendrick bring some speed, while Grandal brings much more pop than A.J. Ellis. The biggest question will be centerfield, which could be given to prospect Joc Pederson or become a platoon job with Chris Heisey. Pederson has been able to succeed at every level in the minor leagues, but went through a brief rough patch in his September promotion last year. Consistent at-bats and familiarity with the league should accelerate his development if he does win the job.
It will interesting to see what this new offense can do, but with an overall improvement, it should continue to get the job done.