Los Angeles Dodgers: Best Fallback Options Following Recent Signings
With a small flurry of recent signings like Brian McCann to the Yankees and Jhonny Peralta to the Cardinals, the Dodgers have continued to stand pat, other than a one-year deal to starting pitcher Dan Haren.
If they continue to plod through a quiet offseason, who can the Dodgers fall back on to fill holes at third base and in the pitching staff? Will they look for backup infield help? Or will they trade one of their four starting outfielders?
Time will tell -- for now, here are five potential fallback options for the Dodgers if their first options end up being signed elsewhere. Keep in mind that the author doesn't necessarily endorse these moves occurring -- just that they are potential fill-ins.
This would be an absolute desperation move at third base if the Dodgers are unable to bring back Juan Uribe or make a trade, but if they can squeeze the last drops of production from Kevin Youkilis before calling up Corey Seager, it might be worth a shot.
Chances are, getting Youkilis would fall more under the category of a back-up corner infielder, much like the role Michael Young played down the stretch. But with a limited free-agent pool at the hot corner, Youk may just be the best guy for the job. If not, it might be time to look into a contract for strikeout machine Mark Reynolds.
As bad as signing two former aces with extensive injury histories to short deals in order to bolster the starting rotation depth sounds, don't put it past Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. With the recent signing of Dan Haren, the Dodgers have already filled a gap at the No. 5 spot. In a market of non-elite free-agent starters headlined by Bronson Arroyo, could a deal with Roy Halladay be worth a shot?
We know that Doc has had his injury problems (and decreased velocity) over the last two seasons, but he is very recently removed from being widely accepted as the best pitcher in baseball. His body and his pitches are getting old, but if he has a little more gas in the tank, he could be a dark horse to rebound in 2014.
Though the former Dodger is primarily a reliever now, Jamey Wright could be that Chris Capuano-esque guy who can provide a spot start or long relief, and do it at an above-average clip. Wright pitched very well for the Dodgers in 2012 and proved to be a versatile option in both the rotation and the bullpen.
Wright is getting up there in years, and a decline in performance seems likely, but is he really any worse than Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang, or Capuano? If the Dodgers can't bring back Brian Wilson or snag a better arm off a loaded free-agent market, this is a route they can discuss to add some depth.
The former Brave struggled in 2013, but has proved over the last half-decade that he can be a very serviceable back-end starter. In the four years prior to last, Paul Maholm never posted an ERA higher than 3.74 or a WHIP higher than 1.29.
He's the kind of lefty who will strike out around 100 guys per year and not walk more than 40. With power arms like Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu heading the Dodgers rotation, this change of pace could really mess with opponents in a short series.
One of the Dodgers top priorities this winter should be re-signing lefty specialist J.P. Howell. He did a fantastic job for them last year and is one of the premier relief arms on the market right now. But, if he does sign elsewhere, the Dodgers could fall back on Boone Logan.
The former Yankee is right in his prime and held a 3.23 ERA and 1.18 WHIP for the Bronx Bombers in 2013. Adding him to a bullpen that features Paco Rodriguez and potentially Scott Elbert as fellow southpaws would be a slight downgrade from Howell, but a big help to the Dodgers' title aspirations.