For much of Spring Training, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield situation has been a hot topic. Outfielder Matt Kemp came out and said he won’t accept a fourth outfielder role, but his health will determine whether anyone gets a chance to sit on the bench.
If he’s healthy, Kemp will patrol center field with Yasiel Puig firmly entrenched as the teams right fielder. Thus, manager Don Mattingly will have a decision to make between Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier for the third outfield spot. Trading an outfielder will depend on Kemp’s health and Buster Olney of ESPN.com speculated about one trade they could make:
This is speculation from me. We know that beginning in the off-season the Reds called around about Brandon Phillips. We know the Dodgers have indicated a willingness to move an outfielder. I look at the Dodgers and Reds in a possible deal down the road because we’ve heard the Dodgers infield situation isn’t good. Alex Guerrero, the young infielder from Cuba who they’re transitioning to second base, it’s not going well. It doesn’t look like he’ll be able to play that position.
If the Dodgers determine that Matt Kemp is healthy, they’ll have a lot of motive to move Andre Ethier and maybe there’s a potential match with the Reds and Brandon Phillips.
Phillips has four years and $50 million remaining on his contract while Ethier is signed through 2017 with a $17.5 million club option (2.5 million buyout) for 2018. However, to say the Guerrero experiment isn’t working out prior to seeing him in a game is foolish since he’s taken strides early in camp.
The Dodgers committed four years to Guerrero and pulling the plug so early into his contract doesn’t seem likely. Not to mention Phillips is 32-years-old and has seen his triple slash decline the past three seasons. Trading for Ethier makes sense for the Reds since they lost Shin-Soo Choo to the Texas Rangers and there are question marks about Billy Hamilton’s ability to play center field, but a match with the Dodgers down the line seems unlikely.
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