The Los Angeles Dodgers have a potential hole at second base and could fill it via trade with a former Dodger, Dee Gordon.
The Los Angeles Dodgers do not really know who the starting second baseman is going to be for the team next season. Los Angeles has a six-year streak of having a different second baseman start on Opening Day. Last year it was Enrique Hernandez.
Hernandez is going to be in the second base picture for the Dodgers next year. With Brian Dozier hitting free agency and Chase Utley retiring, the most likely situation is that Hernandez splits time with Max Muncy at second base.
However, Muncy has such a good bat that the Dodgers may want to incorporate him as an everyday first baseman and move Cody Bellinger to center field. Whether or not that is the right move is subjective but Bellinger can definitely handle himself in the outfield.
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And although Hernandez became an everyday player late in the season for the Dodgers, he struggled mmightilyin the postseason and his value as a utility player and left-handed specialist could mean more to the Dodgers than starting him at second.
While he will undoubtedly start games at second this season, it is understandable if the team is not sold on him being the second baseman.
We really have no idea what the team’s plan is for second if the front office even has one. With a relatively thin free-agent market and Gavin Lux looming to maybe be the starter in 2020, there really isn’t a signing to make.
There could be a trade to make if the Dodgers are serious about upgrading at the position. If so, one of the possible Los Angeles Dodgers trade targets could be none other than former Dodger himself, Dee Gordon.
Gordon would accomplish a few things for the Dodgers. Not only would he regain his place at the team’s second baseman, but he would also provide a true lead-off bat, something the Dodgers currently lack. Even better, Gordon brings speed to the table, something the Dodgers have virtually none of and could have greatly benefitted from in the World Series.
So what is the trade package that we have in mind for Gordon? The Mariners are still trying to contend and just acquired Gordon last winter. Plus, he is signed through 2021, making him a long-term option for the Mariners.
If the Dodgers were serious about this, this is what I would try to send Seattle:
This may seem like a lot to send the Seattle Mariners and it definitely is a good return for Gordon. However, for the Dodgers, this trade would be great for many reasons.
First, the team would be getting rid of Matt Kemp‘s contract this season. And while the team is taking up Dee Gordon’s contract, it would still free up a good chunk of space underneath the luxury tax to sign an elite reliever or even pursue a superstar outfielder.
But the great thing is that Kemp has a purpose for a team like Seattle. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is among seven players that will be free agents this winter.
Instead of overpaying Cruz on a three-year deal, the team could add Kemp, who could do some damage in a hitter-friendly park while not having to play the field.
Plus the team also gets a power-hitting outfielder to replace Dee Gordon in Joc Pederson, who, along with Kemp, could more than make up for the loss of Cruz in the batting lineup. Pederson should tremendous improvements in 2018 and could be an everyday player for the Mariners that hits 30 home runs.
Then comes the juicy prospects. Seattle would receive Dennis Santana, who is already big league ready and ready to contribute in a starting rotation.
Next would be the eighth-best catching prospect in baseball, Will Smith. Smith alone could be used as a marquee player in a trade for a great reliever but is yet another piece in this deal.
The great part about adding him is the Dodgers can afford it with Keibert Ruiz ahead of him on the pecking order and international signing, Diego Cartaya, on his heels.
Rounding the package off is Jake Peter, who the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired last offseason from the Kansas City Royals. Peter is yet to make his Dodger debut and could be a nice southpaw specialist platoon option behind Robinson Cano and others in Seattle.
While it is a pretty decent return, Gordon would be worth it and the Dodgers really wouldn’t be losing anything. Just freeing up Kemp’s salary is a huge win, getting Gordon out of it as well would be an added bonus.
As for Gavin Lux, this could slow his MLB debut down by a year, but that is okay because he was drafted out of high school. The path for him would then become Seager moving to third base for the 2021 season and Lux being the 2020 Opening Day starting shortstop.