While Matt Kemp rumors continue to swirl, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a position to fill this winter in the infield.
The loss of Hanley Ramirez to free agency and the Boston Red Sox means the team will need to find a new shortstop, whether it be by free agency, trade or from within. Earlier in the offseason it was reported that the team was interested in Alexei Ramirez from the Chicago White Sox, but those talks fell through. With the Winter Meetings going on this week, the Dodgers are exploring plenty of options up the middle.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, general manager Farhan Zaidi thinks a deal is imminent:
Zaidi says the #Dodgers only need one SS. But they're exploring options via trade and FA, and a trade this week is "very possible."
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) December 10, 2014
While the Dodgers haven’t been linked to anyone specific, there are limited options in free agency. One player that has been brought up for a trade is Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. He is said to be willing to waive his no-trade clause in a potential deal to the Dodgers, and the Phillies have been studying the Dodgers farm system.
If the Dodgers do make a deal, they are looking for a specific type of player at shortstop according to David Vassegh of AM 570 Radio:
Dodgers GM, Farhan Zaidi said if they get a SS outside of organization…looking for a versatile player that can play more than SS
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) December 10, 2014
One player that does fit the bill and is familiar with president of baseball operations is Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays. Zobrist can play multiple positions, gets on base and it’s been said that the Rays are listening to offers.
The Dodgers could find themselves with a new shortstop by the end of this week.