LA Dodgers: Ranking the Most Likely Dodgers to Be Traded

Evan BarnesContributor IIIJune 29, 2011

LA Dodgers: Ranking the Most Likely Dodgers to Be Traded

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    It's been an up and down week for the Dodgers. On the field, they started with a bang with a come-from-behind win against the Angels and an offensive explosion in Minnesota. But that's been overshadowed by news of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt filing for bankruptcy and the team slipping into a last-place tie in the National League West.

    With the team eager to shed payroll and salvage the season, it's time to face the possibility that the Dodgers may be willing to trade players before deadline. If a deal happens, here are my top five players who might be on the block, ranked according to likelihood of a trade. 

5. Andre Ethier

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    Call me crazy because Ethier is the second best player on the team behind Matt Kemp and one of the team’s most popular players. Call me crazy also because I’m a big fan of Ethier and think he should retire a Dodger.

    But here’s some facts. Ethier will be a free agent after next season after being paid $9.2 million this season. He’ll also be 30 years old at the start of training camp and if the team has to choose between him and Kemp to save money in this bankruptcy state, they might go younger.

    Former Dodgers executive Branch Rickey famously said “Trade a player a year too early than a year too late.” As likely as this trade scenario might happen because of that rule, let’s hope the Dodgers don’t follow this advice and give up Ethier in a trade reminiscent of trading Mike Piazza or Paul LoDuca. 

     

4. Jamey Carroll

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    If anybody on the team has surprised this season, its Carroll. He’s primarily done well as a second baseman and his versatility has made him a great asset to the squad this year.

    It’s also made him potentially attractive to a contender and I think he can be thrown in as part of a package deal . With the emergence of Dee Gordon and Aaron Miles, Carroll is in danger of become expendable.

    If Carroll is traded, he’ll probably be included as part of a package deal. 

3. James Loney

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    Loney has quietly come around from his abysmal start, hitting .346 this month after hitting .208 in April. But his lack of power makes him an easy target to be included in a trade

    Loney would be an attractive offer because he plays great defense and can drive in runs. He’s also a lefthanded bat that can add versatility to a lineup. Yet I sense the team has frustration that Loney hasn’t added more pop and he’ll merely be what he is.

    At 27, Loney still has prime years ahead of him so the Dodgers can get plenty of good offers and like Carroll, he’d most likely be part of a package involving one of the next two names on this list.

2. Chad Billingsley

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    Chad Billingsley has been the source of frustration with Dodgers fans that see him throw brilliance one night and a terribly bad game the next. But his value is still high because of his youth and potential to be a great No. 2 on any rotation.

    Billingsley could get his fair share of looks being a young arm (26 years old) and I think the Dodgers would get more long term value in return if they offer him up.

    A potential Billingsley deal could involve Jason Marquis, who’s off to a solid start with the Washington Nationals (7-2 record with a 3.53 ERA.) At 32, Marquis also has experience in the NL West, making the All-Star team with the Rockies in 2009. 

1. Hiroki Kuroda

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    At 37, Kuroda is showing some signs of aging (5-9 with a respectable 3.10 ERA) but he can still help a contender and reports indicate that teams are more interested in him than anyone else.

    The only problem is that he has a no trade clause but the thought of playing what could be his final season with a chance for the playoffs might see him waive it. Fox Sports reports that the Rockies and Reds might be among the teams interested.

    Kuroda’s high salary ($12 million this year) might also be a target to shed some payroll. But mainly, he’s a solid starter who’s probably the Dodgers’ most attractive bargaining chip at a time when most teams see untouchables (Kershaw, Kemp) and little else.