Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 Trades They Should Already Be Considering
It's early in the season and the Dodgers are playing decent baseball (though disappointing by their standards), but it's never too soon to consider trades. Especially when they're employing four outfielders for three spots. And paying three of those four an absurd amount of money.
We know GM Ned Colletti is no stranger to the trading block, and if the Dodgers are struggling around the All-Star break, he might pull the trigger. If he does, chances are he'd unload one of the outfielders and eat most of their contract. Otherwise, it could be a package of prospects for another bat or a swap of bullpen arms.
If a trade does go down, here are three moves Colletti should already have in the back of his mind:
Carl Crawford for Prospects
Of the three tradable outfielders, Crawford is the most likely to get moved because he still has a little speed left in his legs and isn't as hopeless as Andre Ethier against lefties. He probably won't garner a large return, but the Dodgers might be able to snag a couple of promising prospects from someone who needs to fill a hole in the outfield.
A team like the Astros isn't going to trade any of its prospects to get someone who won't really affect the outcome of its future, but a team like the Rangers could pony up to get an extra outfielder/DH if injury problems hit.
Again, the Dodgers should not expect a large return for Crawford, even if his numbers are looking good at the time. They should, however, expect to eat a large portion of Crawford's contract in any trade. At best, the Dodgers might get a couple of Double-A arms out of him. In the long run, that could still turn into a win.
Prospects for Asdrubal Cabrera
If the Indians aren't going anywhere or feel they need to make a change around the All-Star break, the Dodgers might be an ideal trading partner for them. Asdrubal Cabrera is going to be a free agent after the 2014 season, as is Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
The Dodgers would certainly downgrade on offense, but they need a vast improvement on the defensive side of the ball, especially at short. Many fans want Ramirez back on an extension, and the front office seems to feel the same, but there have been no aggressive moves to get it done yet.
And if Ramirez continues to make errors at such an alarming rate, it might be about time he moves to the AL, where he can spend the rest of his prime raking from the DH spot. If the Dodgers can get Cabrera to play second base for a couple of months, it only benefits them more. Chances are they'd have to get rid of one of their better prospects—likely a pitcher like Zach Lee.
Prospects for Luke Gregerson
Gregerson is a completely random choice—to be honest, this can be any number of middle relievers across baseball. The Dodgers' bullpen so far has been on the brink of collapse, and Colletti won't let that continue if it's still an issue around midseason.
While someone with the track record of Colletti trading with a genius like Billy Beane is exceptionally dangerous, the Dodgers could benefit from a move to bring in fresh blood to the 'pen. The Dodgers would probably have to give up a couple of their top-10 prospects in order to acquire an arm like Gregerson, and Beane would find a way to make it hurt.
But even if this is Jim Johnson or Jesse Crain or Jose Veras or lefty Scott Downs, it wouldn't be surprising in the least to see the Dodgers move to strengthen their expensive, faulty bullpen. As long as they can make a move that doesn't involve shipping away Joc Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias, this could be considered a win.