Is there a possibility that two NL West rivals could actually swap second baseman, so to speak? Well, if you like to buy into rumors then it might be something the two sides could look into.
The Arizona Diamondbacks want to upgrade their second base position. They’ve been looking at free agent Howie Kendrick, who played 2015 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, in an effort to get even better this offseason.
Unfortunately for them, Aaron Hill is still under contract through 2016 for $12 million. Could the Dodgers be a taker?
Per Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale), a USA Major League Baseball columnist:
The #Dbacks are active in trade talks trying to move a 2B, which could clear room to sign FA Howie Kendrick
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 21, 2016
Obviously, it says nothing about the Dodgers in there other than the fact that their former second baseman from this past season is allegedly being actively pursued by the Diamondbacks.
However, the Dodgers do have a little bit of a need at second base right now. It’s not a major need, but it’s still a need nonetheless.
Last season, Hill hit .230 in 353 plate appearances, and also only slugged 6 home runs. He hasn’t come anywhere close to replicating his 2012 season in which he hit .302, OPS’d .882, and totaled 26 home runs and 85 runs batted in, but value could still be found there.
If the Dodgers did choose to go the Hill route, they would at least have a platoon rotation at 2B featuring two veteran entities who would be on expiring deals.
And, who knows? If the 33-year old Hill has a bounceback season and performs really well, the Dodgers might be able to get a draft pick out of him in the following offseason much like they’re banking on with Kendrick.
It wouldn’t take much to get Hill, and if they could persuade Arizona to eat some of Hill’s contract, he’d be considerably cheaper than Kendrick. There’s no word yet if the Dodgers are even interested, but given this front office’s preference toward creative moves, it wouldn’t shock us to find out they made a call.