It’s no secret Los Angeles is a second baseman short. The team heavily pursued Brian Dozier, but hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with Minnesota. Ian Kinsler and Logan Forsythe are the most popular alternatives, though they also have shortcomings. Kinsler demands an extension to accept a deal to L.A. while the Rays typically drive a hard bargain moving impact players.
CBS Sports recently glanced at the Dodgers’ second base conundrum. It named Kinsler the “best option” but expressed concern over Kinsler’s commitment request.
On paper though, Kinsler is a perfect fit for Los Angeles as a right-handed batter with power and above-average defense. He’s the closest thing to Dozier out there. Unfortunately to the Dodgers, it’s difficult to see this one coming together as long as Kinsler sticks to his guns about wanting an extension to waive his no-trade clause. He’s the best non-Dozier option on the market.
Kinsler is indeed the best alternative to Dozier on paper. The article coined Forsythe as more “sensible,” but questioned if the Dodgers would pay an exuberant price. More importantly, it mentioned a couple quieter names who could make sense.
Jurickson Profar is one. The 23-year-old infielder has been displaced in Texas despite his talent. He missed 2014 and 2015 with injuries before a disappointing 2016 campaign where he struggled to gain footing in the batter’s box. CBS proposed a Jose De Leon or Brock Stewart could entice pitching-hungry Texas. The Rangers have since signed Tyson Ross and probably want to take a look at their own guys. There’s little doubt Profar is expendable, so if the Dodgers want to take a chance on his talent, there could be a deal here. If the Rangers retain him and he bombs again, his “talented prospect” label could shift to “bust” sooner rather than later.
Zack Cosart was touched on, though it’d require him playing a position he’s never played. The Reds are trying to open spots for Dilson Herrera and Jose Peraza so they’d probably move Cosart for cheap. The same could be said for Tyler Saladino of the White Sox, who the article cites as an under-the-radar option who could pay dividends. To play devil’s advocate: Despite being 27 years old, Saladino has had limited playing time and Chicago may prefer to see what it has. There’s little reason to move the San Diego native without seeing how much more his offense grows to complement an outstanding glove.
Over at Outside Pitch Sports Network, Daniel Federico wondered if Starlin Castro might fit Los Angeles. Similar to Profar, Castro was once considered an elite prospect but never blossomed into complete form. The Cubs traded Castro to New York last offseason after years of trade rumors and whispers within the organization that Castro was a problem. He brings power and a four-year pact, but not much else. While transitioning to second would help Castro defensively, he’s undisciplined at the plate and more than likely has peaked as a player. If New York were to move him, it’d probably cost more than it’s worth.
No matter how many options you or I come up with, there’s always a “but.” The best three options sit a head above the rest, but if the Dodgers can’t get those done, they may be better off re-signing Chase Utley (or bringing in another vet) and moving forward with the current group. Teams see the Dodgers have a glaring hole but there’s no reason to be desperate. If L.A. struggles to find production from that spot, more lanes will open by the trade deadline.