Shane Victorino talks about his future (and Carl Crawford’s).

Shane Victorino was back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game due to stiffness in his lower back.

He missed a lot while he was out.

Outfielder Carl Crawford, the least important (for this year, at least) of the four players the Dodgers acquired Saturday from Boston is signed through 2017. Crawford had Tommy John surgery Thursday and is out until March of next season at the earliest, so Victorino’s job in left field is safe for now.

A free agent at the end of the season, Victorino repeatedly expressed a desire to re-sign in Los Angeles after arriving July 31 in a trade from Philadelphia. Now, Crawford’s presence poses an obvious problem long-term: the Dodgers have three outfielders (Crawford, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp) under contract until at least 2017.


Sunday, Victorino brushed off the situation like dirt from his jersey. Asked if Crawford’s arrival affected his long-term outlook with the Dodgers, Victorino quickly said “no, not at all.”

“It could be anything,” he said. “Crawford’s not playing any time soon. So I don’t pay attention to that kind of stuff. Ultimately, I hope he gets back healthy. I remember watching Carl play when he was healthy and it was fun to watch. He was an exciting player. I don’t sit here and worry about it. He was a piece that was added in the puzzle. Who knows what their mindset is? They could turn around and trade him. Anything could happen. I don’t really look at it that way. I’m focusing on what I’ve got to do, what I’m here to do, and that’s to help this team win. That’s what I’m focused on.”

But Victorino had to backtrack a bit when he acknowledged that he’s thought “a lot” about playing here past this season. Victorino spends his off-seasons in Las Vegas, where he’s set up an eponymous foundation “dedicated to promoting opportunities for underserved children.” The convenience of working in Los Angeles, as opposed to Philadelphia, quickly grew on the 31-year-old outfielder.

“When I was traded over here I talked about being a little disappointed — the memories in Philly — but when I was traded here, after three or for days I was like ‘wow, I feel like I would love to play here and finish my career.’ Or whatever happens.

“But at the end of the day, you just focus on the game of baseball. I could sit here all day long and say, yeah, where would I want to play or who would I want to play for. But at the end of the day, anything could happen. For example yesterday nobody in their right state of mind thought that trade would go down at any point. But once it started circulating, it actually became a reality.

“If it’s here it’s here. If it’s somewhere else, I just want to put on the jersey and play the game because I love the game. My goal is to win with this team. We’ll see what happens.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.