It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
1. If Joc Pederson isn’t ready to be the everyday center fielder beginning next April, it makes sense to keep Andre Ethier around as the right fielder, with Yasiel Puig holding down center field in the meantime. There has been some interest in Ethier on the trade market, just not enough for the Dodgers to make an actual trade. A strong start by Ethier could make a trade more viable as the 2015 season moves along. Again, only if Pederson isn’t up to snuff for the 25-man roster out of camp.
2. The same could apply to Corey Seager. Jimmy Rollins is expected to be the Opening Day starter in 2015. If Seager is ready at some point in 2015, there won’t be room for him, Rollins, Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney and Justin Turner as middle infielders. (We’re setting Erisbel Arruebarrena in the minors for the purpose of this thought exercise.) Barney can be optioned to the minors, but he also has a Gold Glove award on his resume and a team-friendly contract. He might be the odd man out if the Dodgers start shopping middle infielders around.
Another takeaway, potentially. That’s a good amount of depth. The tradeoff is obvious — two great hitters are gone (Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp) along with Dee Gordon, who was a good hitter for half a season in 2014. “Our home run total may be less,” Andrew Friedman said, “but I think we have a real deep lineup with some length to it. I think we’re going to have a good offensive team.”