Things are off to a slow start during free agency for the Los Angeles Dodgers as things remain in limbo with the posting of Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka and they continue to field trade calls on all four of their outfielders.
Other options include possibly trading for Rays ace David Price, but that would cost the Dodgers several top prospects. To that point, ESPN baseball Insider Buster Olney says the Dodgers are likely to go the free agent route this winter:
Dodgers’ strong preference is to fill their needs through free agency, rather than dip into their farm system for trades.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 18, 2013
Prospects such as Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Zach Lee and Julio Urias have all been mentioned in several trade packages, but Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten are keen on keeping the farm system intact.
Since the McCourt era, the Dodgers haven’t had the greatest farm system and gutting it to trade for a one player is something most don’t want to see happen. The Tanaka posting situation might alter these plans since the Dodgers would like to add another starting pitcher, but the prices for Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco are astronomical.
Third base is also a key spot to fill and with rumors about the San Diego Padres possibly looking to move Chase Headley, the Dodgers are a logical choice. However, inner-division trades are always hard to pull off and if the Dodgers do followthrough and keep Seager, he’s likely to join the big club in 2015.
It was also reported last week that the Dodgers were more likely to go the one or two year contract route with free agent pitching, but they’re still favorites to land Tanaka, if he’s posted. Free agency should pick up more as it gets closer to the Winter Meetings, so expect the Dodgers to be active on that front if they don’t want to trade their prospects.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers reportedly talked trade at the GM Meetings.