The winter meetings begin Monday, and Ned Colletti will be using everything in his arsenal to pick up the shopping list items he wants in order to fill the holes in the roster and put together that dream team in which the GBM has often referred to. Cash, and plenty of it, as well as player trade bait will be both utilized within the shop talks of the meetings. What I would give to be a fly on the wall of some of these meetings. I’m sure some crazy out there trade scenarios are discussed, and we know now that the new ownership is not shy when it comes to blockbuster deals.
Colletti’s prime target this winter is for starting pitching, and the Dodgers would like to pick up another ace caliber starter to slot behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation. Zack Greinke is of course the prized catch this offseason, but the Dodgers could also pick up an arm via trade. Names like James Shields and even Felix Hernandez have been thrown around amongst the myriad of rumors recently. What would it take to make a deal for King Felix or Shields? Unfortunately no team is going to take Juan Uribe off our hands, so if the Dodgers desire to acquire one of these premier pitchers they are going to have to give something up in return.
Would the Dodgers deal Dee Gordon? Another rumor was circulating that the Dodgers may put Dee Gordon on the table as available for a trade. Some fans may be sad to see Gordon go (heck, my mom is even a Gordon fan), but for one this is just a rumor, and secondly almost every player’s name comes up in these meetings. Yet, if the Dodgers could get an elite pitcher in return for the speedster, would they pull the trigger?
Hanley Ramirez has been given the starting shortstop job for 2013, and barring any injury to Hanley this will mean that Gordon will likely start the season off in AAA-Albuquerque. Gordon needs some more time to develop anyhow since he was rushed up to the big club after Rafael Furcal was injured and subsequently traded to St. Louis. Gordon was anointed as the Dodgers’ new starting shortstop, and once he first flew around that base path, we all knew that he had something special.
Gordon’s amazing speed can change the course of a game. We witnessed him fluster
many a pitcher, and we became excited when he stretched out triples from routine doubles. His rapidity got us giddy in thinking about his base stealing potential and the numbers he could put up. The thing is, he couldn’t get on base. Like Scott has said to me before…you can’t steal first base. In 2011, Gordon played in 56 games for the Dodgers, and he put up a line of .304/.325/.362 with 24 stolen bases. Last season Gordon floundered in the lead-off spot, and he only mustered a line of .228/.280/.281 with 32 stolen bases in 87 games and 330 plate appearances. A big chunk of Gordon’s season was lost after he tore a ligament in his thumb during a headfirst slide. Nevertheless, Gordon was not getting on base. What made matters even more problematic was his flailing defense. His 18 errors at short were not pretty.
A raw talent like Gordon can become refined of course, but it takes time. The 24-year old who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Dodgers only had three full seasons in the Dodgers farm system. In 2009 with the Single-A Great Lakes Loons, Gordon stole 73 bases and hit .301. The Dodgers need for a shortstop unfortunately interrupted his natural progression as a developing player. Of course, Gordon has all the talent to become the team’s future shortstop, but will the Dodgers part with him for the right price? Yes. Unless you are Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw, you’re expendable if the right deal comes along.