Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero was signed back in October, hardly counting as an off-season move, while the Dodgers allowed utility men Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker to move on. The Dodgers finally made headlines with the signing of free agent starting pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year deal on Sunday night.
It’s time for the Dodgers to take over the off-season and make the move that’s been rumored by others and shot down by the organization. The Dodgers need to pursue free agent second baseman Robinson Cano. He’s a 31-year-old second baseman that’s hit over .300 with at least 25 home runs and 85 RBI in at least 159 games the past five seasons. He’s an above-average defender and a two-time Gold Glove winner.
The Dodgers have denied their interest in Cano, while stating that they may be choosing to temper spending a bit and building the farm system, but last year the talk was about World Series championships and doing whatever it takes. Regarded as the best second baseman in the game by most analysts, Cano is the type of talent that could put the Dodgers over-the-top and into the Fall Classic. The 31-year-old shocked many people when his request of $300 million was made known, but the reality of the situation is that he won’t receive that amount.
The New York Yankees have made it clear that they would rather not spend that much on Cano and could look at other options. The New York Mets and Detroit Tigers have been rumored, but the Mets have bigger issues and the Tigers just traded away one of their high-priced players to save money. Teams with money like the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners have bigger holes to fill and could split that money for a few players.
This leaves the Dodgers as one of the better fits for Cano, even with Guerrero signed for second base and Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. The Dodgers want a World Series and Cano would significantly improve their chances of reaching that goal. With a team so close to winning it all, the Dodgers can’t simply sit back and take their chances with the team they have now. A lineup that features Cano, Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig is far more dangerous than a lineup without Cano.