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Since the final out of Game 4 of the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers and their off-season of questions began.

One of the biggest questions comes in the outfield, where the Dodgers have five capable starting outfielders and a top prospect that has outgrown the minor leagues. Manager Don Mattingly tried a few approaches early in the season before settling on Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford as the starters. Andre Ethier saw his role reduced to pinch-hitter and occasional starter, while Scott Van Slyke essentially platooned with Crawford against left-handers. Prospect Joc Pederson spent the season in Triple-A and earned a few starts once he was promoted in September.

So what will the Dodgers do?

The easy answer comes through trades and specifically trading Ethier. The veteran outfielder still has four years left on his extension. He is due $18 million the next two seasons and $17 million after that. Any deal involving Ethier would include the Dodgers eating a significant amount of money with little in return.

The other outfielder mentioned in a trade is Crawford. While Crawford was more productive than Ethier, he is owed $60 million over the next three seasons. Once again, any trade with Crawford means the Dodgers eat some money.

One outfielder that isn’t usually mentioned in trade talks is Scott Van Slyke. The 28-year-old played in 98 games last season and hit .297 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs. He mostly started against left-handed pitchers and hit .315 with eight of his home runs against those pitchers.

Van Slyke has never been given the chance of an everyday role, and has carved himself a niche as a platoon player. His 162-game averages of .261 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs would make him a serviceable starter on most teams. With the Dodgers, Van Slyke will never be more than a platoon guy barring injuries to others.

With that being said, the Dodgers could decide to take advantage of his value and trade the right-handed slugger this winter.

Next Page: What Could Prompt The Dodgers To Deal SVS

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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.

8 Responses

      • TheZuluNation

        Free agency or even let Turner cover 1B if need be. He is our utility guy.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Turner has not been resigned yet…..and Van Slyke is also your backup OFer and the only guy who has any power off the bench….why in the world would you trade a guy with that much value? If you want a solid reliever trade Ethier…..he is worthless off the bench and has no shot at re capturing his starting job…..

      • TheZuluNation

        But I’m sure Turner will be resigned more than likely… and because Ethier’s contract will be hard to move and he’s getting older also. I’m all for trading Ethier also, but I understand the situation. There’s not many teams that will be willing to take on his contract. SVS is not a full-time starter and has tons of value as our bench guy so why not trade him? A backup OF/1B can easily be replaced.

  1. Michael N. Norris

    No..best option as a power bat off the bench and the only option to give A-Gone rest

    Reply
  2. Dodgers78_4life

    Move VanSlyke & platoon Ethier & Uribe behind Gonzalez

    Reply
  3. Danny B

    Homeboy hit .297 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs as our 5th outfielder!
    5th! Those numbers earn a starting spot in my book. A fool would trade him and then watch him hit 40 home runs next year for another team. I definitely trade Ethier and/or Crawford (even though I like them, but who will both probably get more hurt next year) before I would ever think of getting rid of Van Slyke.

    Reply

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