The Dodgers roster is basically set, so general manager Ned Colletti doesn’t need to panic or make any desperation moves. Instead, any transaction would be solely to improve a Dodgers team that won 92 games last season.
As the market has slowed down over the past couple of weeks, there are no hot rumors surrounding the Dodgers—aside from, of course, the general hubbub over Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Cited rumors compiled by MLB Trade Rumors.
A recent tweet from Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com suggests that the team will not be all-in on Masahiro Tanaka:
Colletti wouldn't commit on whether the Dodgers would pursue Masahiro Tanaka if he's posted by his Japanese club.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 24, 2013
I believe, however, that when all is said and done, the Dodgers will be one of the final teams under consideration. They may not sign him—with the Yankees likely in the mix as well, nothing can be certain—but he is a natural fit for the Dodgers rotation.
Huge questions surround the health of Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley, and Dan Haren is no sure thing either. Tanaka would be a welcome youth infusion. He would slot in behind incumbents Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu, so he wouldn’t feel the pressure that he might if he were asked to headline a rotation somewhere else.
From the Dodgers’ perspective, this means they can afford to take it slow with him.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe perfectly sums up my expectations for the Dodgers outfield (with six bullet-point). Despite recent assurances that the front office has no intention of trading Kemp, some sort of deal involving either Kemp or Ethier still seems to be the most likely outcome.
I don’t know when this deal will come; as Cafardo explains, Colletti may want to wait until Kemp proves his health in spring training—but a deal must be made.
Four outfielders is a logjam. There weren’t any problems last season because Kemp kept getting hurt, but counting on injuries to solve this sort of problem is foolish, and I don’t expect the Dodgers to pursue that path.
Marc Topkin the Tampa Bay Times mentioned recently that the Dodgers are still potential suitors for left-handed pitcher David Price.
This seems difficult to imagine, as any such deal would have to include Dodger prospect Corey Seager, per Ken Rosenthal:
Recent indications, though, are that the Dodgers are shifting towards a more responsible and sustainable long-term plan, so they would be reluctant to deal Seager. This is a line of thinking that makes perfect sense to me, as their farm system is barren and Seager is one of the only infield prospects they have.
Because of those reasons, the idea that Price could end up with the Dodgers is preposterous.
The Dodgers won’t trade Seager, and if the price somehow got low enough to where a package headlined by Zach Lee could get it done (it won’t), other teams would jump in and up their offer, taking negotiations out of the Dodgers’ price range.