The Winter Meetings are under way! That means that extravagant trade rumors are swirling around like a category 5 tornado. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have reached out to Tampa Bay regarding a possible trade scenario for their ace pitcher David Price. This really isn’t shocking news. Of course the Dodgers and many other teams are showing interest in the talented left-hander. It sure doesn’t mean any trade is imminent, but it is fun to think about the possibility even if it is just that, a long-shot possibility.
Don’t get me wrong, a rotation of Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Ryu, and Haren would be incredible. David Price is a fabulous pitching talent, and any team covets a player like him. The problem is that in order to get Price, the Dodgers would have to trade a large prospect package to Tampa Bay in return. A group of prospects which would probably include some if not all of the Dodgers top minor leaguers. With the exception of Corey Seager, who I believe is pretty much untouchable at this point, the Dodgers would have to send names like Joc Pederson, Zach Lee, Ross Stripling, and Julio Urias. Heck, they may have to send all of them to the Rays in order to get Price. That’s just too much, and the farm system would be completely drained if a trade like that would transpire. You can’t blame Tampa Bay for asking for a big return. Imagine if the Dodgers got calls on Clayton Kershaw (which I’m sure they have). What would the Dodgers ask for in return for Kershaw?
The Dodgers have already stated that they wish to build up the farm system and not strip it any
further. A big trade this offseason would mean doing that and exchanging our last remaining top prospects. That is a situation that I don’t think any club would like to see themselves in. The Dodgers already have their work cut out for them in adding depth to their minor league system after the Dodgers traded away many prospects, which were mostly pitchers, in order to bolster their lineup on the Major League side.
If the Dodgers make any trades this winter, I’d like to see them instead pick up some prospects instead of shipping them out. If that means trading an outfielder for some minor league talent, then that could benefit the Dodgers in the long run. As much as it would pain me to see either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier traded, if a potentially beneficial trade comes to the table for the Dodgers, they should absolutely entertain the possibility. It would take a really good return for me to get on board with a trade for Kemp, but I realize that the Dodgers need to restock their pipeline of prospects and Kemp could be a prized piece in a potential trade.
I really don’t think the Dodgers will be making any big moves this offseason since their top priorities right now will be adding relievers to their bullpen, shoring up the infield, and putting together a capable bench. That’s a lot of work to be done. Juan Uribe has been rumored to be in talks with the White Sox and Dodgers, and if the Dodgers don’t sign the slick fielding hot corner man, then there will be a big hole at third base to fill. If the Dodgers don’t sign J.P. Howell, then Colletti will be needing to pick up another left-handed reliever to pair with Paco Rodriguez. The Dodgers really do need at least two more relievers. The bench is also barren as of right now except for back-up catcher Tim Federowicz. With Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker‘s departure, Ned will need to look for bench players who can play around the infield (especially shortstop), and also preferably someone who can play some center field if needed.
There’s a lot of holes to be filled, and this week will prove interesting to see just what direction the Dodgers will be headed this winter. Regardless of the Hot Stove trade speculations, the Dodgers may not trade anyone. There probably will not be any blockbuster deals, but instead small signings here and there. I’m fine with that, and unless the Rays and Dodgers come up with a mutually beneficial scenario which would send Price to L.A. in exchange for less than the entire farm, then I’d be quite happy.
Even though Ned Colletti has received constant flack for some of his failed signings like the Brandon League disaster, he has also made some very wise and fruitful moves as the Dodgers GM over the years. After speaking with Colletti, I have a whole new respect for what he does and the knowledge he has of not only the Dodgers but baseball in general. I put my trust in Colletti to put together this puzzle and form a championship team for 2014.