It’s been an eventful week at the Winter Meetings as the Los Angeles Dodgers made a flurry of moves that leaves the roster quite different than when the week started.

Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas are Miami Marlins, Matt Kemp is a San Diego Padre, Howie Kendrick is a Dodger who could be joined by Jimmy Rollins and Brandon McCarthy. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have been busy and their work is far from done. The Kemp trade may be a bit of a surprise considering he was one of the best players in baseball in the second half of 2014. It was just step one in relieving the logjam in the outfield though.

According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, the Dodgers vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes mentioned a factor in some of the moves:

While it’s quick to assume that Kemp was a problem in the clubhouse, it’s more of a matter of having too many starting caliber outfielders and just three spots. Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier all found themselves on the bench at some point this past season, much to their displeasure. None of the players made it a huge deal, sacrificing for the sake of the team, but it was clear that without a World Series it could not happen again.

Kemp was originally unhappy when moved from center field to left. He eventually settled into right field, but still expressed a desire to play center. When Crawford went down to injury, he said he would make sure he was completely healthy upon return because he would have to fight for a starting spot. Ethier was the quiet soldier who was relegated to bench duty midway through the season; however, he was recently quoted saying he plans to start next year wherever he is.

It was only a matter of time before the Dodgers were forced to firmly draw the line between starters and role players, and the recent moves began that distinction.

About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

13 Responses

  1. 21grams

    THIS JUST IN!!… Andrew Friedman just traded Vin Scully to the Giants for a pair of winter socks.

    Reply
  2. eas21

    if locker room chemistry was an issue, why is puig still here?

    Reply
  3. eas21

    if locker room chemistry was an issue, why is puig still here?

    Reply
  4. movonup

    Please explain me Dee Gordon’s trade because it’s a horrible trade. After all the Dodgers put into him & all he has accomplished so far, it makes no fvcking sense. An Allstar base stealing phenom who showed great skillz at 2nd. base.
    And don’t tell me he faltered at the end of last season. You would too if you had played all winter working to take over 2nd. base.

    So we get Kendrick. How old is Kendrick? I thought the Dodgers were “building from within”. Little note, Dee & Rollins are super tight. That WOULD have been some chemistry.

    Kemp definitely had issues, but to trade him for nothing in return, and to a division rival is just fvcking stupid. Maybe the Dodgers don’t have a log jam in the outfield (they still do btw) but now they have four fvcking catchers & no middle relief & no 3, 4, 5 starters. (There are questions about Ryu).

    I’m hating these moves so far. To me they’re illogical.

    Maybe while the Dodgers are at it they can up the pressure on Time/Warner Cable to get a T.V. deal done before the fvcking season begins. How bout that?

    Reply
    • Jonathan Ly

      Did you see any of Dee’s at bat’s during the postseason? His first few weeks of the season carried him to the ASG, combined with him being a fan favorite. He is an incredible base stealer, but that kinda requires you to get on base. Kemp really only woke up after the ASG, and yet both Puig and Kemp have better OBP than Dee did for the season.

      Dee DID make mistakes at the end up the season/postseason. Dee was tied 2nd highest for Errors Committed by an NL 2nd Baseman in the regular season. An abysmal .176 hitting in the playoffs with only 2BB. 6 SO, no XBH. only 1 stolen base. Didn’t score ANY runs either, only batted in 2. Granted, Puig did nothing beneficial either for most of that series, but both Dee AND Puig failing to contribute killed the top of the order.

      Are you fucking serious? Questions about Ryu? He might have some slight durability issues, but given the dumpster fire that the bullpen has proven to be at times, the teams is lucky to have been in the position it was in. Relief pitching can be more volatile and signing Miller to a long term deal what have been less than ideal.

      I don’t think that Dee would have regressed, but he certainly needs to improve hitting and I think the team is putting together a strong 2015 campaign.

      Reply
      • Drizzle97

        Puig, Hanley, and Agon fell off down the stretch AND in the playoffs..Who carried to the West title, won us a game, and was our BEST Hitter last year, disspite starting slow? Kemp! For .225 BA, can’t throw runners out and has already gotten busted for PEDs!

      • Jonathan Ly

        We’re just assuming the guy with bum ankles is magically going to jump backwards 3 years? Kemp has said it himself, he isn’t the same guy he was on offense anymore, he isn’t the same base stealing threat he was when he almost went 40/40.

        We need a catcher. Martin was a bit of a gamble so they passed. AJ’s pitch framing isn’t great, so if we can get our pitchers more strikes, then it’s fine, not like AJ was throwing people out THAT much.

        Kemp will be missed, but its better than holding on and him reverting to pre-ASG Kemp

      • Drizzle97

        No I’m talking 2014 KEMP who out hit EVERYONE on our team down the stretch, go see Aug, Sept, OCT.

        “Framing pitches”?? LOL, that is NOT an upgrade and AJ has always been respected by the runners, Grandal opens up a trackmeet every time he squats (See the Dodgers run on him last year) and he ONLY HITS .225!!! The year before he hit.216!!!! AJ hit .270 a couple of years ago! So please tell me what are you talking about? This is a horrible trade and the fact EVERYONE keeps trying to sell it was worth it cause Scandal can “frame pitches” gtfoh

        Plus he’s already got busted once for PED’s next is HALF THE SEASON! smh

      • movonup

        I agree “Framing pitches” wtf? But I do remember during Kershaw’s two meltdowns I was screaming at my TV ‘Why doesn’t AJ get his a$$ out there and talk to him?” The Cards & the Royal’s catchers both went to the mound numerous times to help their rotations calm the fvck down and pitch. Only AJ & manager Matingly did not. I wasn’t sure if they had put Kershaw on such a pedestal he became unapproachable. Just saying.

      • movonup

        I’m thinking that the Dodgers dumped Kemp because they know he’s been using PED’s again and they will lose him due to suspension, so give him up for nothing.

      • movonup

        You don’t dump Gordon after 1/2 a season of faltering. Did you forget Dee played all winter long to get better at 2nd? He hit the wall. After all the years building him from “inside” the organization, you just don’t dump him. It’s just stupid, and you’ll see. Remember that famous Dodger trade, Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields? That’s what this feels like. Just stupid.

  5. movonup

    Dodgers are making things really odd. They say one thing but contradict themselves at every move. I read they were trying to trade Kemp for the Diamondbacks center fielder. WTF? Are they trying to obtain every outfielder in the league? If you are trying to dump outfielders you don’t try and trade for more of them. BTW even with the trade to S. D. the Dodgers still have too many outfielders, and now we have too many catchers, (some with knee issues) and they still haven’t answered the MIDDLE RELIEF PROBLEM!

    My brother has a theory that the Dodgers dumped Kemp because they know he began using steroids at the 2nd half of last season, boosting his numbers, and before it gets out they dumped him for nothing. Willing to pay some $30,000,000.00 to say good riddance.

    Dee Gordon is the kind of trade that will never make sense to me. The team put too much into him. He came from within, which is what the Dodgers claim they want more than anything, and right when he shows amazing upside they dump him for…I have no words…an older, slower player. Yes his production fell off but he played all winter before last season and I believe he hit the wall. You don’t trade that guy. Not yet!

    Does anyone remember the Pedro Martinez – Delino DeShields trade? That’s what this feels like. Just fvcking STUPID!

    Something doesn’t feel right or logical at all. Still no middle relief, too many outfielders, starting rotation is messed up too, and most of the best pitches are gone. So WTF…..And I almost forgot, why isn’t Time/Warner negotiating with other carriers now instead of waiting for the season to begin. It’s in the Dodgers best interest to put pressure on T.W., but nothing. WTF?

    Reply

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