Going into the 2014 off-season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have holes to fill in the rotation and in the starting lineup at third base. However, the one place they don’t need help is in the outfield as they’ll enter the off-season with four outfielders for three spots.
However, there’s been speculation that the Dodgers might be willing to deal one of them, but the fact that Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are so fragile, it might make GM Ned Colletti and management keep all four.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, there are scouts that believe the Dodgers will make a move for impending Red Sox free agent outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury:
Seattle would seem to be one candidate, and there has even been speculation among scouts that the Dodgers will pursue Ellsbury because he’s a true center fielder, then dump their surplus (Matt Kemp?).
When first looking at the rumor it seems ridiculous since the Dodgers would have to trade Kemp, arguably the face of the franchise who they signed to an eight-year $160 million contract back in 2011. 2013 was rough for Kemp as he’s already undergone ankle and shoulder surgeries and should be “competitive” for spring training.
Meanwhile, Ellsbury is injury-prone himself as he’s only played in more than 130 games in half of his last four seasons. In 2013, Ellsbury hit .298 with nine home runs and 58 RBI as he also swiped 52 bases.
The Texas Rangers have reported interest in Kemp while Andre Ethier would be the next likely outfielder to go as the Dodgers will have to eat a large portion of his five-year $75 million extension he signed two or so years ago.
Free agency doesn’t start until after the World Series, but it’s clear that everyone believes the Dodgers will be aggressive across all fronts as Ellsbury is the latest reported target.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!