The Los Angeles Dodgers began the season with five outfielders — a sure-fire right fielder in Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp in center, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier platooning in left and Scott Van Slyke filling in as needed.
That has since changed however, as Kemp was benched and taken out of center field. The move resulted in Ethier being handed the reins in center field and Kemp was moved to left. With Crawford on the disabled list due to a sprained ankle, Kemp has been afforded consistent playing time in left field and has responded well, particularly in the month of June.
Seemingly with an outfield that currently works well, the Dodgers have won four of their last five games and entered Friday four games back of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.
Despite the recent success, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, a baseball executive believes the Dodgers best option with regards to the outfield involves calling up a Minor League prospect:
One rival executive said Thursday that the Dodgers’ best outfield would be Matt Kemp in left, Joc Pederson in center and Yasiel Puig in right.
The executive further added the Dodgers would benefit from trading either Crawford or Ethier:
The exec added that the Dodgers should trade one of their left-handed hitting outfielders, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford, and keep the other in reserve.
General manager Ned Colletti voice his opinion against trading an outfielder, but ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported the Dodgers have placed all outfielders aside from Puig on the trade market.
Trading any of the outfielders would like prove difficult for the Dodgers, given the large salaries that would be involved. Crawford has three years and over $62 million remaining on is contract, Ethier is owed $53.5 million over the next three seasons, and both are considered to be on the wrong side of 30-years-old.
The Dodgers decided against trading an outfielder last year and it proved to be the correct decision as the injuries never let up. Whether or not the same will hold true remains to be seen. If they continue to play well it may decrease the likelihood of a trade, but frustration boiling over could have an impact.
Dodgers Outfielder Andre Ethier Surprises Middle School Students