Prices for outfielders are sky-rocketing. Free agent outfielder Jason Heyward, for example, agreed to a monster eight-year, $184 million deal with the Chicago Cubs on Friday morning.

But the increasing cost could work in the Dodgers’ favor. It’s no secret that the team has been looking to move one of their outfielders this offseason. Yasiel Puig had a down year and a rocky offseason, so naturally his name came up in the speculation, but Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier — and their expensive contracts — are trade candidates too.

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The team so far has struggled to find a suitable deal for the outfielders, but with the amount that free agents are getting the Dodgers are starting to receive more interest.

“As those prices are going up, teams are reaching out more,” Dodgers’ Vice President Andrew Friedman told ESPN’s Mark Saxon.

Moving the contracts of Crawford and Ethier won’t be easy and frankly, the Dodgers will probably have to chip in a large chunk of change in any trade, but this could be the best time to swing a deal.

I do not think, however, that moving Puig right now would be a good idea. He’s coming off the worst year of his career and his value could not be any lower. The old saying is “buy low, and sell high”, and this would be a case of the Dodgers selling low.

Regardless, the Dodgers will continue to listen and take in offers, and perhaps the increased demand for outfielders will lead to a deal, but I still wouldn’t expect anything to get done. Not just because the offers might not be great, but also because Friedman may prefer to have outfield depth.

“We’re open to ways to improve and, obviously, there are a lot of different ways to do that, but we saw firsthand how valuable that depth was last year,” he told ESPN.

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I am currently a junior at the University of Arizona and die-hard sports fan (go Lakers and Raiders!). I'm the editor of SB Nation's Arizona Wildcats Blog -- Arizona Desert Swarm. And aside from DodgersNation, I write for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, SB Nation's SilverScreenAndRoll.com, and LakersOutsiders.com.

27 Responses

  1. Jagman63

    Trade Crawford and Ethier. Keep Puig and sign Upton. Outfield, power problem solved. But Friedman and co. won’t do anything so imaginative. Hey I vote we change his name to Firedman!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. RandyKirchner

    Jagman63 they still
    think they are in tampa bay

    Reply
  3. Michael Norris

    OF depth? Have you checked the roster? There are 9 outfielders on the 40 man roster…….there were 7 when they said the OF was too crowded…….think someone needs to check their facts..

    Reply
  4. MikeandRenaKane

    Dodgers should try to move Crawford and VanSlyke – get a starter, possibly Carrasco from Cleveland as they need outfield help and try to get a right hand hitting 2nd baseman, moving Utley to 1st as backup for AGon and also for Turner at 3rd (and to help teach a young 2nd baseman).

    Reply
  5. Michael Norris

    MikeandRenaKane  First off, Cleveland would never trade Carrasco for both of those guys and a trained monkey thrown in. Crawford’s contract has so much left on it, that no one wants the guy. 2 years, and over 36 million. It would take Puig, and someone else for them even too think about trading the guy. SVS is the only RH power bat on the bench. Both Kike, and Peraza are RH hitters, and they are the 2nd base guys right now, so, they do not need a RH hitting 2B. Utley was retained because he can play 3 positions..1st, 2nd and 3rd. They got him back also because he was a great clubhouse guy last year. Kendrick would take at least a 3 year deal which the FO does not want to do, and he would effectively block Kike and Peraza, and they do not want to do that either…

    Reply
  6. JacksonEbner

    How bout Ethier to the Angels for Weaver, straight up.  Weaver is no ace anymore, but he is a quality teammate who knows how to pitch, has only a year left on his contract, and bridges the gap to Urias and Deleon.  Angels need a lefty hitter for left field, Ethier is coming off a .850ish OPS, the contracts match up for this season, and Dodgers blow off 20 mil of payroll for next season.

    Reply
  7. Michael Norris

    JacksonEbner  Doubt the Angels would sign off on that trade because it weakens an already thin rotation for them. They do need a LH hitting OF…..but all the story’s I have read have them trying to move CJ Wilson, not Weaver

    Reply
  8. Jagman63

    Michael Norris JacksonEbner  CJ for Ethier would be alright. He certainly would be better than Anderson.

    Reply
  9. Michael Norris

    Jagman63 Michael Norris JacksonEbner  Contract has 2 years at about 20 million per, so the contracts would be a wash. Trouble is that CJ has been pretty pedestrian the last couple of years, and the Dodgers really need another RH starter, not another lefty. The rotation as it sits right now has 4 LH starters. You know Anderson is going to slot in the 4 at least with Iwakuma the 2 right now and Ryu the 3 if healthy…making Wood the #5 guy…

    Reply
  10. JacksonEbner

    Michael Norris Jagman63 JacksonEbner

    Doubt the Angels have any intention to sign either Wilson or Weaver, and would be open to trading either for the right piece.  I proposed Weaver as opposed to Wilson cause of their already preponderance of lefties.  I like this move for both teams, even if Weaver declines further and sucks, no biggie, at least they save 20 mil in 2017, but I suspect Weaver has enough left to be of value, plus he’s a good clubhouse guy, he’s been the leader on the Angel staff for a decade.

    Reply
  11. Blackspur

    Somebody has to play the outfield in 2016.  Ethier was the ONLY dependable outfielder last year.  As explained above, free agent outfielders are expensive.  It is very nice to WISH that Puig and Scott Van Slyke come back from down years or that Pederson really is more than a sub-200 hitter or that Carl Crawford can stay off the DL long enough to be useful but unless any of that actually happens, Ethier is the only outfield foundation to build on.  Actually, if they can get anything for Crawford even if they have to pay for nearly all of his contract, it would be a blessing.

    Reply
  12. JacksonEbner

    Blackspur
    Ethier averaging 10 homers and 50 RBIs the last 3 years.  Give Schebler 400 ABs, and he can do better than that for minimum wage.

    Reply
  13. Blackspur

    Schebler won’t be playing until September unless there are some REAL disappointments.  And if that happens, it probably won’t matter anyway.  Peraza is this season’s project.  If he is successful, he’ll be what the Dodgers really need most in the lineup and what they haven’t had since the first half of Dee Gordon’s last Dodger season.  If not, they’ll still be looking.  That’s what Pederson was supposed to be.  And Puig before him.  Prospects are just prospects until they’re not.  They all look great until they actually have to play in the Majors.  Pederson and Puig looked good on paper.  So did Alexander Guerrero and Erisbel
    Arruebarrena.  They’re only Major leaguers if they can STICK.  Succeed over time.  That has yet to be proven with Puig and Pederson.  Guerrero and Arruebarrena are just so much dead weight that will probably need to be written off.  Has Scott Van Slyke ever been a full time starter?  Where are J. Sellers and Elian Herrera?  Or Javy Guerra or Seth Rosin?  Just to mention some recent rightoffs.  Don’t talk about Schebler until he’s spent a couple years in the Majors.  Until then he’s just a weed on the other side of the fence.

    Reply
  14. JacksonEbner

    If you want to settle for 10 home runs and 50 RBI’s from a starting outfielder, Puig and Pederson have already done way better than that, and certainly have more upside than a guy going into his age 34 season.  I’m not suggesting that they give Schebler the starting position, just that they already have plenty of guys who can give them that kind of production, so Ethier is easily replaceable.  Crawford and Van Slyke can platoon in left, Hernandez and Pederson can platoon in center, and Puig can play right every day.  Ethier should have some trade value coming off an outlier of a good year, sell high, dump his contract, and turn him into some pitching depth.  If Crawford gets injured, bring up Schebler, or whoever is killing it in their system and looks ready.  Two years ago Ethier couldn’t even crack the starting line up, now at age 34 you want to build the team around him.

    Reply
  15. JacksonEbner

    Blackspur

    If you want to settle for 10 home runs and 50 RBI’s from a starting outfielder, Puig and Pederson have already done way better than that, and certainly have more upside than a guy going into his age 34 season.  I’m not suggesting that they give Schebler the starting position, just that they already have plenty of guys who can give them that kind of production, so Ethier is easily replaceable.  Crawford and Van Slyke can platoon in left, Hernandez and Pederson can platoon in center, and Puig can play right every day.  Ethier should have some trade value coming off an outlier of a good year, sell high, dump his contract, and turn him into some pitching depth.  If Crawford gets injured, bring up Schebler, or whoever is killing it in their system and looks ready.  Two years ago Ethier couldn’t even crack the starting line up, now at age 34 you want to build the team around him.

    Reply
  16. Blackspur

    JacksonEbner Blackspur No, I’m not saying build the team around Ethier.  Far from it.  What
    I’m saying is that there are a lot more important things to fix than the
    outfield.  Have you noticed a huge hole in the rotation?  And the bullpen has been broken for the last two seasons.  And what you can get for Ethier is not going to fix either problem.  You think you can get a Greinke for an Ethier?  Or a fix for the 7th and 8th for an Ethier trade?  Ha!  Dream on.  And what if Pederson is just a flash in the pan?  What if what we got out of Puig most of last season is what it is?  What if Van Slyke is at the end of his marginal usefulness.  What if Crawford stubs his toe in Spring training and spends the year on the DL?  Schebler might help, if he’s really ready.  Let’s face it, there was only one serviceable outfielder last year.  Now if all those “ifs” are go do you see what you can get for Ethier in July?  Damn straight.  But so far there has been no demand for Ethier even with the Dodgers paying most of the freight.  You can’t trade what no one is interested in just because you don’t like him.  That’s what everyone seems to forget about trades.  Each side is hoping for equal value in a trade.  I’m sure of one thing.  Whatever we get back for Ethier would just be someone else’s bad contract.  That’s probably useless.

    Reply
  17. Michael Norris

    Blackspur JacksonEbner  One giant problem with your wait until July and see what you can get for him plan. As of mid April, Andre becomes a 10-5 player, which means he can block any trade……and he probably would. Right now there are 9 outfielders on the 40 man roster, that is a glut. 5 will probably make the team out of spring. CC, because no one wants that contract, Pederson, because it is way too early to give up on the kid, Puig, because he has more tools than any of them and has a manageable contract, SVS because he is the only RH power bet off the bench, and he can also spell A Gone at 1st, and Andre, if he is not traded. As far as the bullpen goes, they need one more late inning guy, other than that they are pretty set. Avilan, Liberatore, and Howell from the left side, and Garcia, Baez, Hatcher, and Jansen from the right….As anyone who knows anything about this game knows, you cannot predict production. From all accounts, Puig has lost weight and been working out diligently. Pederson will get a chance to make adjustments with the new batting coach in Spring, CC will most likely end up on the DL again, but if he does manage to stay somewhat healthy, the guy is pretty productive, SVS was dinged up some last year, but is still relatively young, and there is no reason not to expect him to bounce back and be a force off the pine again. Schebler will most likely start the year in OKC. Ethier’s value has not been this high in years, and he would bring something pretty good in return, but they would eat some money. Hernandez can fill in as the backup CF. There has been mild interest in Andre, but as you said, both teams need value back…..so we will see……but there is a far greater chance of Andre getting dealt than Puig…

    Reply
  18. JohnLucas5

    I understand from the posts that the Dodgers now have 9 OF’s on their 40 man roster, however providing they could move an OF or two,  would that make it possible for them to sign a guy like Justin Upton, or is there no chance of that happening whatsoever?

    Reply
  19. Michael Norris

    JohnLucas5  I doubt they would even consider signing Upton. He is not that great defensively,, which is one of the things they are stressing now, and the guy would cost them a bundle……..it seems they are trying to reduce payroll…..

    Reply
  20. Blackspur

    Michael Norris Blackspur JacksonEbner Copied this from Fangraphs just for you. Enjoy!

    * 10% of top 10 hitting prospects bust.
    * 31% of top 10 pitching prospects bust.
    * 21% of top 11-25 hitting prospects bust.
    * 32% of top 11-25 pitching prospects bust.
    * 35% of top 26-50 hitting prospects bust.
    * 33% of top 26-50 pitching prospects bust.
    * 45% of top 51-75 hitting prospects bust.
    * 39% of top 51-75 pitching prospects bust.
    * 43% of top 76-100 hitting prospects bust.
    * 43% of top 76-100 pitching prospects bust.
    * 59% of ‘B grade’ hitting prospects bust.
    * 52% of ‘B grade’ pitching prospects bust.
    * 83% of ‘C grade’ hitting prospects bust.
    * Around 75% of all ‘C grade’ pitching prospects bust.

    Reply
  21. JacksonEbner

    Blackspur Michael Norris JacksonEbner

    Fully aware of those odds.  Been closely following baseball for 50 years.  The game has changed a lot even in the last 5 years. Guys like Alex Gordon, who is 3 years older, and far less productive than Carl Crawford was at the time he got his then ridiculous contract, are still up for 100 mil contracts.  For that money, you basically get a guy who will be replacement level within a year or two, and become an albatross around the teams who sign him and his ilk.  It took GMs a long time to figure it out, that elite youth is the only way to build a world series winner, if you have enough of them, you can build around them with the right kind of established veterans.  The Angels are a perfect example of a team that hamstrung themselves with albatross contracts to declining players, while ignoring there farm system, and now can’t afford to put the right parts around Trout while he is in his prime.  Dodgers are taking a smart volume approach to their farm system, buying up picks with their money, and foreign talent, while avoiding paying 32 year old pitchers mega bucks on 6 year contracts, most of which will torture their fans watching these guys slowly decline, season after season, while sucking up large parts of their budget.  I’ll give this front office a little time to see how things proceed, before whining like a bit*h in december.

    Reply
  22. Michael Norris

    Blackspur Michael Norris JacksonEbner  Been watching the game enough years to know that there is no such thing as a sure thing…..Piazza was a 62nd round pick…..Fernando came out of the Mexican League….

    Reply
  23. Michael Norris

    JacksonEbner Blackspur Michael Norris  Been following a little longer than you…..and by the way….it is December……..

    Reply

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