While Matt Kemp being traded to the San Diego Padres in a move that isn’t yet official didn’t come as much of a surprise given the persistent trade rumors, Dee Gordon getting dealt to the Miami Marlins isn’t something many can say they expected the Los Angeles Dodgers to do.
In an interview on The Beast 980, former Dodger and current analyst Eric Karros discussed how the roster moves would have him feeling if he were a current player:
I’m probably a little bit anxious because I realize that basically there isn’t anything the front office won’t do. So I’m thinking man, things have changed here. There isn’t that comfort zone, what I thought was stable or secure, that’s not the way it is anymore.”
While Karros did share his belief that the Dodgers may have lost more in terms of talent, he also mentioned how well players fit together as being part of the equation:
If you’re looking at it player for player, talent for talent, it’s a wash. Maybe the Dodgers gave up some more talent when you’re talking Dee Gordon. I’d include Hanley Ramirez in that whole movement, Matt Kemp, Dan Haren. But, this isn’t about pieces, it’s about the complete puzzle and the way things go together, the way things mesh.”
As for the effect that the trades may have on expectations for the Dodgers to win now, Karros believes it’s taken a load off Don Mattingly’s shoulders and there isn’t room for excuses:
Everybody talked about the amount of time that he had to spend in the clubhouse dealing with personalities, that’s all been alleviated. There should be a ton of harmony in there. So, now the focus on games, strategy, and winning. So of course, right now, in L.A., you’re given every amenity, so if you don’t win there isn’t going to be a lot of patience.
While Kemp’s preference to only play in center field before accepting a move to right field created a headache for Mattingly, him no longer being with the team doesn’t guarantee an improvement in the clubhouse — specifically with the group of outfielders.
With Joc Pederson expected to take over in center, it leaves Andre Ethier at risk of again playing a role he may not be enthused with. Ethier expressed a desire to remain with the Dodgers and start on a regular basis and current outfield situation likely entails him platooning in left field.
However, the Dodgers have been open with the fact that they aren’t done making moves and trading Ethier, which they reportedly already attempted, may still be in the cards.