The Dodgers have a little problem. They have too many players, creating a cluster clog of guys on the 40 man roster. Like a hairball in the drain, the Dodgers must unclog this roster jumble. It’s a dilemma most teams I think would like to have. Either way, the Dodgers are looking to clear space on the roster by dumping some of the bench and or minor league fodder. After signing Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, and trading for Skip Schumaker, the Dodger’s 40 man roster is full. They had to designate Scott Van Slyke for assignment In order just to clear a spot for Schumaker. This isn’t a big deal because Van Slyke will probably just clear waivers and end up back in Albuquerque anyways. And even if he doesn’t, it’s Scott Van Slyke so I don’t really care all that much. He was pretty atrocious in the outfield, and other than some occasional pop, couldn’t hit a breaking ball to save his life. So if the Dodgers want to add any more players this winter, they’re going to have to drop a few guys.
Naturally, that’s what Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports News is reporting. There are several players the Dodgers are either looking to drop or could drop. The biggest candidate in those odds, and girth is Juan Uribe. The 33 year old portly infielder is the bane of nearly every Dodger fans ire. The much maligned infielder was signed for 21 million dollars in the winter of 2010, after he was coming off of two good years in San Francisco, playing for the Giants. Since then Uribe has been a monumental disaster in Dodger Blue. In 2012, Uribe battled a wrist injury and even though he had a decent April (.267, 16 for 60), he went on to post a putrid slash line of .191/.258/.284 with only two home runs in 66 games and 179 plate appearances. Uribe has spit time between second base, third base, and shortstop while with the Dodgers, but last year played all but one game at third base, and still couldn’t hit above the Mendoza line. Rosenthal says the Dodgers should just release him. Yeah, duh Ken. But if they do that, then they would be on the hook for the seven million dollars owed to him. And what did the 21 million dollars get the Dodgers? Six home runs.
Another candidate for the axe, is utility man Nick Punto. Poor guy, why even pick on him? Number one, I’m going to get his autograph at the Valencia mall on Saturday, and number two, he’s only been here since late August. Punto came over in the huge blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox last August 25. The 35 year old utility man is also know as Shredder. For his habit of ripping off shirts of guys who hit walk-offs. Shredder Punto is a switch-hitter and pretty handy guy to have around. He hit .286 (10 for 35) for the Dodgers last season in 23 games and 43 plate appearances. Although overall his numbers aren’t very impressive, and he has little to no power. He’s also under contract for 2013, and owed 1.5 million dollars, so the Dodgers could just as easily dump him. Will Nick Punto be sliding into the first base of our hearts next season?
Another candidate could be John Ely, who may have run his course in Dodger Blue. He is only 26 years old, but since his debut in 2010, and that one good month he’s had, he has been pretty awful. He only pitched in two games for the Dodgers last season, including a maddening two inning stretch in a crucial September game against the Cardinals in which he couldn’t hold a tie. Ely did have a great season in Albuquerque though. He won the pitching triple crown, and minor league pitcher of the year award. He does have an option remaining, so the Dodgers could just easily send him back down to the minors without having to lose him, or put him on waivers or something.
Another candidate that has been thrown around a lot of late, is slick fielding Justin Sellers. Although, I wish everyone would just leave the guy alone. Sellers played in only 19 games last season, putting up a slash line of .205/.286/.386 with one home run and two RBI. Sellers saw playing time at second base, third base, and shortstop in 2012, before injuring his back on a memorable diving catch while falling into the stands. I believe Sellers has options left too, and I hope they hold onto him.
The Dodgers have many choices abundant for utility guys. Remember the Dodgers could put any of these guys up on waivers, or trade them. They’re still talking to teams about possibly moving Dee Gordon, Jerry Hairston Jr. is under contract and should return from hip surgery, and we still have the underrated Elian Herrera, who can play all over the diamond. But there is one thing we’re forgetting. The Dodger’s one-bum clause.
The one-Bum clause specifically states that no matter what, they must carry at least one bum or useless player on the roster at all time. Juan Uribe would definitely satisfy that requirement, but there are a few other options. The Dodgers may not want to give out no-trade clauses, but they strictly adhere to the one-bum clause. Remember the 1988 Dodgers had Danny Heep, the 2004 Dodgers had Hee-seop Choi, the 2008 Dodgers had Andruw Jones, and the 2009 Dodgers had Juan Castro. Without the one-bum clause how will these players have a voice? Generally those players are bench dwellers or reclamation projects who can’t hit at all. Hopefully the Dodgers dump Uribe, and get the rest of the dead weight off the roster to clear room for better players who can actually hit. Who do you think will get the axe next? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments below and let us know.