In the Los Angeles Dodgers organization are three elite prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias — who they refused to part with at the trade deadline last season and signs point to them being intent on keeping the trio.
However, general manager Farhan Zaidi said at the Winter Meetings the Dodgers would be open to a trade if it were the ‘right deal.’ The Dodgers’ refusal thus far to part with any of the three is tied to the their focus on not only building to win now, but also the in future.
While speaking at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten expanded on the importance of keeping youth in the organization, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
I always stress becoming younger,” Kasten said. “Payroll is a byproduct of youth. You don’t want to wake up one day to find out you can’t compete, you’re too old. You need to avoid that, and this week we took tangible steps to fulfill our overarching goal to become more reliant on our infrastructure and player development.”
Coincidentally, while the Dodgers were in the process of adding youth by way of prospects from the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres, they simultaneously got older with respects to everyday starters next season.
At 31 years old, Howie Kendrick replaces Dee Gordon at second base, who is 26. The not-yet official trade for Jimmy Rollins replaces 30-year-old Hanley Ramirez with a 36-year-old shortstop; though the argument can certainly be made Rollins is more nimble and “youthful” than Ramirez.
Matt Kemp being dealt to the Padres landed the Dodgers Yasmani Grandal, 26, who conceivably will platoon in some capacity with A.J. Ellis behind the plate, and it opens the door for Pederson to take over in center with Yasiel Puig moving back to right field.
Though it may be in a different fashion than the last two seasons, the Dodgers remain in position to contend for a World Series next season while also gaining roster flexibility moving forward that had been largely absent.
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