Four seasons ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a trade that signaled a shift in the paradigm for the team and altered the course of the entire franchise. The Dodgers completed a deal with the Boston Red Sox that would bring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the City of Angels while sending out James Loney and four minor leaguers.
Collective jaws were dropped around the league when this trade was completed as the Dodgers took on roughly a quarter of a BILLION dollars in salary. The team, who had just been bought by Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim group, suddenly took on the persona of the New York Yankees west after many miserly years under Frank McCourt.
In the following seasons, super-sized contracts became commonplace as the Dodgers desperately looked for their first World Series title since 1988. However, win now mode hasn’t quite work out as the team had hoped. While the team has won the NL West for three seasons running, the first time in franchise history this has happened, in the postseason the success just hasn’t been there.
Whether it be the 7th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals or the ghosts of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig possessing Daniel Murphy, something has gotten in the way of the Dodgers making it back to the promised land.
So, while this season that hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, being 51-40 and sitting 6.5 games behind their rival San Francisco Giants wasn’t exactly what fans had in mind going into the All-Star break. On the other hand, the Dodgers did win 7 of their last 10 games going into the break.
Reinforcements for the pitching staff are coming, but the offense has battled malaise and inconsistency all season so it might stand to reason that the team will go out and look for an impact bat. The trade deadline is fast approaching and while it would go against the the system the current front office has operated under, it might be time for another summer blockbuster from the Dodgers.
That being said, I thought it might be interesting to borrow an idea from Bill Simmons during his Grantland days and look at the trade value for every member of the current 40-man roster.
Note: There are actually 47 players on the current 40-man roster due to the disabled list and players who are in the minors but still have major league contracts and other fun technicalities and such
The list is rather simple, if a player is ranked #20, you wouldn’t trade him straight up for any player ranked #21-47 and so on and so forth. Current value, future value, age, salary, etc… were all taken into consideration while putting the list together.
Group 5: Cellar Dwellers
47. Josh Ravin, Relief Pitcher, $515K–2016
Ravin was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug in May. Cheaters never prosper, and thus, Ravin lands at the very bottom of our list.
46. Casey Fien, Relief Pitcher, $2.275M–2016
While Fien has relatively solid stats throughout his career, he is older, more expensive and has a much smaller role than other relievers on the team.
45. Cole Figueroa, 2nd Base, $507.5K–2016
44. Zach Walters, Short Stop, $509K–2016
43. Will Venable, Outfielder, $507K–2016
The reliable outfielder recently arrived after spending most of his career with the Dodgers NL West compatriots San Diego Padres. His numbers don’t jump off the page, and he’s not going to upend any of the current starters, but having a veteran presence on the bench who can play a number of positions cant hurt.
42. Chin-Hui Tsao, Relief Pitcher, $507.5K–2016
41. J.P. Howell, Relief Pitcher, $6.25M–2016
J.P. Howell and his magnificent beard had become a back of the bullpen mainstay the last three seasons with the Dodgers. He started with the team as a left-handed specialist, but he developed into the de-facto set-up man for Kenley Jansen and excelled in his role. This season however, his numbers have fallen off a cliff, with an ERA of 3.86 compared to a minuscule 1.43 last season. That, plus his lower usage and the fact he has the second largest contract in the bullpen lead to him being this low.
40. Chris Hatcher, Relier Pitcher, $1.065M–2016
His significantly lower price tag and the fact that he’s shown glimpses of dominance put him just ahead of Howell.
39. Mike Bolsinger, Starting Pitcher, $515K–2016
38. Carlos Frias, Starting Pitcher, $517.5K–2016
37. Luis Avilan, Relief Pitcher, $1.39M–2016
The lefty was just called back up from the minors and he will be looking for more success than he had in his first season with the team last year when he put up an ugly 5.17 ERA.
36. Brock Stewart, Starting Pitcher, $507.5K–2016
Despite his poor first showing in the league, his minor league numbers (8-3, 1.66 ERA) give plenty of reason for optimism going forward.
35. Micah Johnson, 2nd Base, $507.5K–2016
34. Charlie Culberson, Short Stop, $507.5K–2016
Group 4: Should He Stay or Should He Go?
33. Louis Coleman, Relief Pitcher, $750K
32. Pedro Baez, Relief Pitcher, $520K–2016
While he occasionally makes fans want to pull their hair out, Baez is only 28, can touch 100 on the gun and is still very cheap. So strap in, I’m not giving up on him yet.
31. Kike Hernandez, Utility, $520K–2016
This one hurts a bit. But, I’m sorry Kike. Despite your consistent owning of Madison Bumgarner and fun personality, you just don’t do enough to warrant a higher spot. However, it’s still #RallyBanana4Ever
30. Scott Van Slyke, Outfielder, $1.225M–2016
With the Dodgers constant logjam in the outfield, Van Slyke has made a living being the 4th or 5th outfielder, which is not the most desirable spot to be in. But, he still provides some pop off the bench against lefties which makes him marginally more valuable than other utility players on the team.
29. Ross Stripling, Starting Pitcher, $507.5K–2016
No-hitting the Giants through 8 innings in your major league debut is reason enough to land at no. 29.
28. Bud Norris, Starting Pitcher, $2.5m–2016
27. Chris Taylor, 3rd Base, $507.5K–2016
Both Norris and Taylor recently arrived and while neither player figures to make a huge impact, they both look to play very specific roles on the team. Norris pitched exceptionally well in his first start for the Dodgers and looks like he may be the missing 5th starter the team has needed all season. As far as Taylor goes, he’s slashed .316/.401/.457 in his minor league career and is just 25 and could be a contributor in the infield for years to come.
26. A.J. Ellis, Catcher, $4.5M–2016
A.J. has long been a reliable, steady member of the clubhouse and has often served as Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher. Due to these intangibles, he’s much higher on the list than he would have been if we were looking purely at the stats, which in all honestly, are pretty brutal. He’s hitting just .200/.299/.264 in limited play this season, but Ellis’s importance to the team go much deeper than that.
Check back on Wednesday for part 2 of the trade value rankings, #25-1!
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