Dodgers: Three Questions Entering Spring Training
By Alex Campos
What will happen with Alex Guerrero?
With pretty clear-cut starters at most positions, the Dodgers’ bench seems full as well. A.J. Ellis will hopefully be the backup catcher forever. With Howie Kendrick re-signed, Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez will be super-subs on the bench. Scott Van Slyke and Carl Crawford will likely be on the bench as well, as fourth and fifth outfielders. Van Slyke also bring value at first base, providing much needed days of rest for Adrian Gonzalez.
That would be a fine and clean bench, but Guerrero’s lovely contract all but guarantees him a spot on the Dodgers’ bench. Guerrero cannot be send to the minors without his permission. His trade value is incredibly low, as he started last season on fire and cooled off dramatically. His inability to really play any position on defense also hurts his trade value and if that wasn’t enough, he can become a free agent at the end of any season during which he’s traded.
The Dodgers are more or less stuck with Guerrero, meaning one of the deserving bench players could be forced to start the season in the minors or another move could be on the horizon. Van Slyke and Hernandez can be sent to the minors, but their positional versatility and ability to mash left handed pitching will be vital on the major league level.
The Dodgers are reportedly trying to find a suitor for Guerrero, and one of our writers tried to find a landing spot for him. As a DH he could absolutely have some value, but the combination of contract and ability will likely mean the Dodgers won’t get much for him. It’s really hard to see a way that Guerrero cracks the opening day roster, but crazier things have happened.
Next: 2-5 in the Rotation?