Don’t get lulled to sleep by the Dodgers dramatic climb into first place. While it has been a very good run, not incredible (last year was incredible!), the Dodger brass should not be satisfied. This team has flaws that can be exposed in a short series. Defense and pitching are always paramount in the playoffs. This team could win 95 to 98 games and still get run in the NLCS if some issues are not addressed, and the best time to address issues is while you are doing well. If you are doing poorly, other teams think you are desperate and try to hold you up. In short, right now is a sellers market.
As much as I know how awesome Hanley Ramirez can be, if he’s healthy and doing well, the Dodgers should trade him. The Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox and Mariners have been suggested. Arruebarrena looks like an Omar Viquel-esque replacement whose defense could save a few games and so far, his bat is not detrimental.
Andre Ethier is heating up, but is no centerfielder. Ramirez and Ethier should be enough to get a real CF, or a couple of really good bullpen arms. Centerfielders are in high demand and I don’t see many that could be available, even in a 3 or 4 way deal. I still think Dee Gordon could be that guy with Guerrero going to 2B after he gets his ear back in shape. On his rehab, I hear they are playing it by ear!
I just think the Dodgers should deal from a position of strength. They can’t afford another Punch and Judy bat – if Gordon moved to CF, they could have a 25 HR guy at 2B. That said, the Dodgers are in first place with Kemp, Gonzo, Ethier, Crawford and Ellis under-performing. Odds are, some of them might get it going!
Does anyone still think Clayton Kershaw can’t be the best Dodger pitcher of all time? I didn’t say he was NOW, but look at him get better EVERY year. Sandy Koufax had a somewhat stressful delivery – Clayton is free and easy and his slider is the best in the majors. If he doesn’t get hurt, he’s going to make you Koufax apologists relent!