7 Sluggers to Team with Superstar Matt Kemp
The free-agent well is draining, and the Dodgers have yet to do anything spectacular in the offseason.
If this organization has any hope of rising to the expectations of many and making a serious run towards the playoffs next year, it's going to have to find a bat that can provide relief to not only Matt Kemp, but a needy Dodger fanbase as well.
Submitted for your disapproval: seven sluggers the Dodgers should pick up to team with Matt Kemp.
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Blowing your mind, right?
Assuming this is nothing close to breaking news for you, suffice it to say Big Papi would satisfy two desperate needs for the Los Angeles Dodgers: offensive support off his bat and a big name that would satisfy a needy L.A. fanbase craving a media circus.
His .309 batting average, 29 home runs and 96 RBI are still impressive at his age, and his talents definitely wouldn't be wasted in Los Angeles.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
While the current free-agent well isn't actually dried up, that doesn't mean the pickings aren't slim.
That isn't to say Beltran is a wash with a .300 batting average, 22 home runs and 84 RBI.
The veteran's age is obviously a concern and ultimately whether or not he's able to act as a reliable alternative on nights when Kemp's superpowers are struggling.
As the Cardinals and Blue Jays are also eyeing Beltran, it's safe to say that L.A. would be a far less drastic move from San Francisco for the outfielder, and while his numbers certainly aren't superstar-caliber, he's certainly worth a look.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Settle down—I don't think Johnny Damon is the ultimate answer here.
However, I do believe that given the dwindling amount of talent left on the open market, Damon is certainly worth a look.
His .273 average, 16 home runs and 73 RBI would mean a lot to a struggling Dodgers supporting cast, and he's certainly a known name that would make it seem as though the management is actually trying to make something happen.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Kelly Johnson isn't a big name. Hell, it's not even a boy's name.
I can say that if you take a look at this guy on paper, you'll be surprised by what he can bring to the table.
A .222 average, 21 home runs and 58 RBI aren't too shabby for a guy you've probably never given much credit to.
Is Kelly Johnson the best fit to back up Matt Kemp's offense? Hard to say, but he could very well make a surprising impact on a lineup where beggars cannot be choosers.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the bottom of the barrel—population: J.D. Drew.
While he's by no means a terrible player, he's not the kind of player that would calm Matt Kemp's anxiety.
Then why, you ask, is he even on the list? Well, you should take a trip over to ESPN's remaining free-agent list and let me know what you see. Slim pickins, people.
With a .222 average, four home runs and 22 RBI, Drew is not the answer we've been looking for, but he is a viable option for a Dodger front office that seems to be wasting a lot of time and not enough money.
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
In his debut season with the Cubs, Pena didn't exactly thrill.
While his numbers are solid with a .225 average, 28 home runs and 80 RBI, his potential is what should see him brought to LA.
With a controversy at first base now surrounding James Loney and a crashed sports car, it may be a good time for the Dodgers to consider this upgrade.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
There is no better answer to the offensive question in L.A. than Prince Fielder.
Relief for Matt Kemp? This guy gives him a run for his money.
With a .299 average, 38 home runs and 120 RBI, Fielder is the kind of player that could seriously alter the face of not only the Dodger organization, but of the entire NL West.
Not to mention the acquisition of Fielder would be the perfect rebuttal to the Angels' blockbuster move for Albert Pujols. In the war for respect in Southern California, Fielder would be an awfully big statement.