Can the Dodgers finally use their depth to fill areas of need?
The Dodgers will head to the winter meetings with an abundance of starting pitchers and left fielders. While they have shown the willingness to move starters into the bullpen, this off-season is likely the time for them to use their depth to acquire prospects or fill their needs. The Dodgers have at least ten capable major league starters, and guys like Brock Stewart and Trevor Oaks can’t sit in purgatory forever.
With Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu in contract years, it would not surprise me to see one or both traded. The free agent starting pitcher market is very top heavy and gets much worse after Darvish and Arrieta. Guys like McCarthy and Ryu could make sense for more financially limited teams in need of pitching like the Rays, Brewers, or A’s. The Dodgers could also choose to trade prospects like Stewart and Oaks who are being blocked as part of a bigger deal for an elite pitcher.
In left field, the Dodgers also have an abundance of left fielders as Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson, and Alex Verdugo will all fight to start against right-handed pitchers. Kike will start against lefties, but the Dodgers need to figure out who will start most of their games against right-handed starters. Verdugo and Walker Buehler are players who deserve a chance to shine, so the Dodgers need to clear out some of their excess depth to give them their shots. The combination of a surplus of left fielders and starting pitchers could help the Dodgers swing a trade to strengthen their team.