If I had to guess, I'd say the Los Angeles Dodgers will be more active on the trade market than on the free agent market this offseason, and they'll probably see more big names departing than arriving.
That doesn't mean they don't stand a chance at signing a few players to fill holes on their ball club, and it certainly doesn't mean that the players can't help the team be competitive in the NL West.
The way I see it, with the team marred in financial limbo, it will have to find areas to shed payroll while making a few non-flashy moves through free agency. This would likely be in the form of signing low-risk, high-reward players players to one-year deals.
Each of the three players stands a chance at failing, but so does every other free agent. The possible upside of these players, paired with how nicely they would fit in to the teams short- and long-term plans, make them all very intriguing.
Here are three low-risk, high-reward players who could help the Dodgers compete in 2012.
With catcher Rod Barajas on his way out of town and GM Ned Colletti looking to add another potential bat to the Dodgers' lineup, Ryan Doumit would be a great low-risk, high-reward signing to assume backstop duties for LA. That is assuming, of course, that the Pirates don't pick up his $6.5 million option for next season.
The Dodgers need a veteran presence behind the plate for when Tim Federowicz joins the club for good. At this point he's probably still a year away, so the Dodgers will likely start him at Triple-A next season.
Finally healthy, Doumit hit .303 with a 128 OPS-plus in 77 games this season.
Bill Hall had been bouncing around from team to team the last few years before finding himself jobless midway through this season. However, Hall will be 32 years old, can play every position except pitcher and he is a great clubhouse guy.
With Casey Blake's $6 million option not likely to be exercised and Dee Gordon expected to assume a majority of the time at shortstop, the Dodgers will need a utility-type player to fill in some holes.
Hall can play third base in Blake's absence and fill in for Gordon if or when he struggles, plus he's solid in the outfield as well.
General manager Ned Colletti wants a bit more power in the lineup, and Hall routinely hits double-digit home runs with plenty of doubles when he gets consistent at-bats.
Joel Piniero pitched horribly for the Angels in 2011 coming back from injuries, yet he'll still be just 33 years old and one year removed from a 3.84 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Piniero won't come close to matching the two-year, $16 million deal he received before the 2010 season, and he'd maybe even give the Dodgers a discount in order to stay in LA.
With Hiroki Kuroda departing via free agency and a chance that Chad Billingsley finds himself wearing a new uniform next season, Piniero would provide a cost-effective pitcher with plenty of upside.
Jeffrey Beckmann is a MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new Twitter account for all of his latest work. You can also hear him each Friday at 1 p.m. EST on B/R Baseball Roundtable.