The Los Angeles Dodgers do not have many holes to fill this offseason. Kolten Wong is the perfect suitor to help fill one of the few holes the team has.
If there is any silver lining to the Los Angeles Dodgers losing in game seven of the World Series it is that the team is, for the most part, completely intact. Brandon Morrow and Yu Darvish may be the only big losses. Andre Ethier, Tony Watson and Chase Utley are some minor losses.
The loss of Utley takes away a left-handed/right-handed platoon at second base. Logan Forsythe is the Dodgers’ best second baseman but he cannot hit right-handed pitching. Utley provided the perfect backup option to play against right-handed pitching. With some defensive flare still in his arsenal and natural veteran leadership, Utley was a key component of the locker room.
However, his production late in the season — especially in the postseason — may be the ultimate calling card that it is time to hang it up. Utley hit only .236 on the season with a season-long career-low eight home runs. In the postseason, Utley failed to garner a single hit, his last postseason hit coming in the 2016 NLDS against the Nationals.
Although the players likely will petition to get Utley back on the board, it does not make sense from a logistic standpoint for the Dodgers. LA simply cannot waste a roster spot on someone of Utley’s caliber — as harsh as that may sound.
While the Dodgers could pull Utley’s replacement from the farm system, there is a better solution this offseason. The free agency class is thin, so that will not work. Instead, the Dodgers can trade for St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong.
Wong finds himself in an interesting position heading into next season. With Aledyms Diaz, Jedd Gyorko, Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong all healthy, Kong finds himself outside of the starting nine. Although the Cardinals could hold onto Kong for infield depth, they could look to trade from an area of strength into an area of need.
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With all the rumors and rumblings around Giancarlo Stanton, it is apparent that the Cardinals need a right fielder. Stephen Piscotty is not the best option and is arguably the weakest link in the Cardinals roster.
Thus, the Dodgers can trade away a talent such as Andrew Toles. Toles has surprising speed (making up for the loss of Wong), a great arm and an electric bat. Essentially the Dodgers and Cardinals are trading two similar players, thus performing a position swap.
Los Angeles may need to include a lower level pitching prospect such as Trevor Oaks, but that should not make or break the deal. Instead, the Dodgers should be willing to give up a Toles-Oaks package for Wong and his .288 batting average against left-handed pitching.
The Dodgers already have a starting left fielder in Joc Pederson and could even promote Alex Verdugo. The last thing LA needs is three left-handed hitting left fielders. Then, the Dodgers have the flexibility to pursue a right-handed outfielder such as Lorenzo Cain or Giancarlo Stanton himself.
Overall, trading for Kolten Wong may seem like a move out of MLB: The Show. However, it is a move that is more than doable this offseason. With no real candidates emerging yet, Wong is the best option for the Dodgers’ second base platoon.