All those players could be off the market by tomorrow if they accept the qualifying offer.
If they don’t, and certainly not all will, the Dodgers and 28 other teams are faced with a choice: Sign the player as a free agent, or sacrifice a 2014 first-round draft pick. For a team like the Dodgers, who have a handful of high-level prospects but not many more tradeable assets in their farm system, that’s a difficult and expensive signing to justify. Cano is arguably the only elite player on that list and the Dodgers aren’t expected to make a run at him.
The others — some of whom made my short list of players to watch — just made themselves a little less attractive to the Dodgers.
As expected, the Dodgers selected the contract of Scott Van Slyke and added him to their major league roster Friday. Elian Herrera was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and Chad Billingsley was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for Van Slyke.
Van Slyke was hitting .397/.503/.733 for Albuquerque, with a team-leading nine home runs and 30 RBIs.
“He’s got a chance to hit a ball in the seats,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he wanted a right-handed bat in the outfield and an additional jolt of power. The Dodgers have hit 23 home runs as a team, the second-fewest total in the National League, and Herrera relies as much on the bunt as the line drive to get on base.
Herrera started in left field Wednesday and got one hit in three at-bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ethier hasn’t been given a day off by the manager (not the schedule) since April 7, Crawford since getting back to back days off on April 30 and May 1. That’s weighed on Mattingly lately, though he acknowledged that the injuries to Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mark Ellis last week left him little choice until both players ultimately went on the 15-day disabled list.
“We’ve had a lot of guys hurt and it’s like we just keep throwing everybody else out there,” Mattingly said. “We want to have that option on the left-hander, to give Carl or Dre a day off.”
The Dodgers will see a left-hander, Wade Miley, tomorrow in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.