5 Players the Los Angeles Dodgers Should Ditch This Offseason
Regardless of how the rest of this season shapes up, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in great shape to contend for a title in 2013.
With a massive infusion of talent and payroll flexibility thanks to new ownership, things are looking up for the future of the Dodgers—both now and in the distant future.
However, there are several players who will bring next to nothing to the Dodgers' 2013 championship effort and should be left off the roster.
Here are the five players the Dodgers need to ditch after the end of this season.
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Ned Colletti has had some big misses since taking over as GM.
He is responsible for a handful of multi-year contract atrocities like Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.
We can now add Juan Uribe to that list.
As the Dodgers' least valuable and most overweight player, Uribe should be cut on the spot.
In 161 at bats, he's hitting a horrendous .186 with a .254 OBP.
Moreover, it's clear that this season is no fluke. Uribe barely cleared the Mendoza line in 2011 and has shown absolutely no signs of adequacy since his Dodgers debut.
It'll take a lot more than batting lessons and a nutritionist to get Uribe to hit again, and unfortunately he has another year left on his three-year, $21M contract.
The Dodgers should release him and free up his spot for someone who can actually help the team.
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It's safe to say that Joe Blanton is as good as gone after this season.
Simply put, Joe Blanton has never been great. He seems to be regressing each year and hasn't posted an ERA below four since 2007.
Additionally, since joining the Dodgers, Blanton has an awful a 5.57 ERA and can't seem to throw anything other than hanging breaking balls and hanging sliders.
If that isn't enough evidence to let him walk, the Dodgers bring back six proven starters next season—Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billlingsly, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly.
With so many solid options on the roster and even more available in the farm system, Joe Blanton will get the boot.
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After several months of mediocrity, the Seattle Mariners gave up on Brandon League. The Dodgers should follow suit.
The reliever is now 1-6 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP, which doesn't seem so terrible.
He's also been stellar in September, posting a 0.79 ERA through 11.1 innings.
However, League is wildly inconsistent and can't be trusted with a multi-year contract.
The Dodgers also have a plethora of younger, much cheaper arms ready for more major league action—most notably Paco Rodriguez, Stephen Fife, John Ely, Shawn Tolleson and others.
League is a free agent after the season, and unless the Dodgers can get him for extremely cheap, they should let him walk.
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It's not that Elian Herrera is bad. He has great speed and a .253 BA and .343 OBP—definitely respectable for a bat off the bench.
The Dodgers would love to keep him, but there's just not enough roster space.
Herrera is an infielder and typically plays third base. Luis Cruz has more than earned that position for all of 2013.
Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez has SS locked down for the next two seasons. Plus, Mark Ellis has done a good job at second this year and will likely play out his contract as the starter.
Herrera is best suited as a pinch hitter, pinch runner and backup infielder—a job that now belongs to Dee Gordon.
Herrera will probably play out most of next season in the minors, but the Dodgers may explore some ways to trade him.
Victorino (left) stands next to Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier
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If there's one player on the Dodgers roster who is most guaranteed to be gone after this year, it's outfielder Shane Victorino.
Outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were recently given long-term contracts, and LF Carl Crawford should be recovered from Tommy John surgery by next season.
Victorino is too expensive to platoon or bring off the bench, so he is definitely gone after this season.