Surplus Goods: Why the Dodgers Shouldn’t & Won’t Trade an Outfielder

The bad saw Ethier’s offensive number continue to regress. In 2009, Ethier hit 31 home runs, drove in 106 runs and was an MVP candidate. His bat has remained consistent since then, but his power numbers have dropped off precipitously. He battled through injuries in 2010 and 2011, but has remained relatively healthy since then. Ethier cranked a respectable 20 homers in 2012, but he hit only 12 long bombs in 2013, third lowest of his career. Those days of Ethier as an MVP candidate seem very far off, especially turning 32 next season.

That’s the thing as the general consensus seems to be that any trade involving Ethier would also entail the Dodgers eating a large part of his salary. As we’ve seen, the Dodgers are willing to spend money, but not dead money long term and I don’t see them eating salary for multiple years in order for someone to play for another team, unless it’s for a beneficial trade package.

Next, is Yasiel Puig.  Oh yeah, wait, the Dodgers aren’t trading Puig.

Finally, Crawford who after two abysmal years in Boston, he somewhat redeemed himself and had a solid year for the Dodgers in 2013.  However, at this stage in his career, Crawford isn’ a guy who teams will rely on to play 150+ games and steal bases the way he did. His outfield defense is still solid and Crawford is a disciplined hitter who won’t strike out much.

However, not many teams will be willing to fork over top prospects for a 32-year old who played in only 116 games last season. Combine his age, injury history and contract status, Crawford just doesn’t hold much value on the trade market.

The Dodgers have also lost a lot of the depth they had last season. Skip Schumaker played primary backup center field in 2013 and he’s gone to the Cincinnati Reds.  It’s been rumored that Dee Gordon could take on a utility role next season as he as been playing center field in winter ball.  Speedy minor league outfielder Joc Pederson also waits in the wings, however, I’m certain the Dodgers would prefer not to rush Pederson and hold onto all of their trade chips for as long as possible.

There you have it. It just doesn’t make sense for the Dodgers to trade an outfielder right now, unless it involves a trade to Tampa Bay for David Price, otherwise, the Dodgers will do just what they did last year. Hold on to everybody, wait and see things out and make a decision later in the future when the deals and team outcomes become much clearer.


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