As has been rumored for quite some time now, the Dodgers evidently traded Jake Lemmerman to the Cardinals for Skip Schumaker, who is a career .305 hitter against RH pitching. Evidently, he will platoon at 2B with Mark Ellis who could not hit a RH pitcher to save his life, but who murders LH pitching. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven, right.
It looks good in theory, but the combined age of Ellis and Schumaker is 68. Lemmerman alone seems to be a small price to pay for Schumaker. As it stands right now, it appears to me that Ellis and Schumaker would hit leadoff. While neither is a stolen-base threat, their combined OB% could be excellent for the Dodgers #1 spot in the lineup. Effectively, Mark Ellis will play only about a third of the time if they go with a strict platoon.
Having a $220 million dollar payroll is no guarantee you will win anything. When you have spent as much as the Dodgers already have, you need to make sure that you have just about everything you need. What is a few more million… or ten, or twenty in this scheme of things? As Don Mattingly articulated, if the Dodgers don’t win it all in 2013, they are failures.
What else do the Dodgers need?
Let me remind you – they really need a leadoff hitter. Now, I don’t think they have to get every piece of the puzzle, but they really do need a real leadoff hitter. Bluefan posted a trade proposal I liked yesterday which was Capuano and Ethier for Jacoby Elsbury, who would become the Dodgers’ RF and leadoff hitter. I know he has been injury-prone but odds-are he will not be that way every year. He’s a LH hitter, but hits lefties better than Ethier and can leadoff. He can easily steal 45-50 bases (70 is his high). He hit 32 HR a couple of years ago, but that was an anomaly – he’s a 15 HR guy in my opinion.
The complicating factor is that Ethier and Capuano make $14 million more than Elsbury and I doubt the Red Sox want to take on that much salary, so the Dodgers might have to toss in $6-9 million and/or throw in a prospect like Joc Pederson.
With Elsbury in RF, and Schumaker also being able to play CF, the Dodgers would have two backups to Kemp. Hairston plays the OF as well and I wouldn’t mind seeing Alex Castellanos being given a shot as a utility player as well.
If the Dodgers were to get Elsbury, I would be OK with Cruz at 3B to start the season, but Mike Olt should be on the Dodgers radar. Check out the lineup if the Dodgers were to get Elsbury:
- Elsbury RF
- Schumaker/Ellis 2B
- Kemp CF
- Gonzalez 1B
- Ramirez SS
- Crawford LF
- Cruz 3B
- Ellis C
… or you could flip Crawford and 2B.
Justin Sellers would be the obvious choice to move from the 40 man roster, but I have a better idea… can we just rid ourselves of Juan Uribe? Please…
I smell a trade – my crystal ball says Gordon, Lee, Ethier, Capuano, Uribe, Harang… it’s hazy – I can’t see it clearly, but I smell it!