A major storyline over the last two seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been their outfield logjam that’s more times than not left Andre Ethier as the odd man out. While Matt Kemp was traded during the offseason, he was essentially replaced by Joc Pederson.
Injuries to Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig have fostered a relatively easy solution in the outfield, but that certainly isn’t permanent. With the emergence of Alex Guerrero this season, a similar situation is unfolding at third base.
Guerrero made the most of his pinch-hit opportunities early on and parlayed them into starts at third base. However, regular playing time at the hot corner has been hard to come by on a roster with Justin Turner and Juan Uribe, and Guerrero has cooled off considerably at the plate.
How much longer that will remain the case is unknown as according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers are destined to trade a third baseman:
The Dodgers are going to trade a third baseman. The only question is which one.
The Dodgers, according to major-league sources, aren’t ready to move yet — outfielders Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford are on the disabled list, requiring the team to make occasional use of Alex Guerrero in left field.
Of the trio the Dodgers rely on at third base, Guerrero has drawn trade interest:
Guerrero, 28, already is drawing trade interest, according to major-league sources.
While Guerrero, 28, is the youngest of Turner (30) and Uribe (36), his contract presents the largest impediment to being traded. He’s making an acceptable $4 million this season and is owed $5 million in each of the next two years.
However, included in Guerrero’s contract is a clause which allows him to opt out of his deal at the end of the season in which he is traded. The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Turner during the offseason and Uribe is in the final year of his contract.
Uribe got off to a slow start this season at the plate, but has since recovered and has a 12-game hitting streak entering play Monday. The veteran third baseman is also revered for his clubhouse presence.
On paper the Dodgers would appear to be able to withstand trading one of the aforementioned players as depth wouldn’t necessarily become an issue. Hector Olivera has signed and is simply awaiting a visa, Kiké Hernandez is in the organization and so too is shortstop Corey Seager, who has also received recent playing time at third base.
Given the fragile state of their starting rotation, the Dodgers may be inclined to complete a trade that would address the backend of the starting staff. However, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently indicated such a move likely wouldn’t take place until June.
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