Dodgers: Will it be a Blue Christmas for the Dodgers?
By Mike Margy
No right-handed bat?
Here’s where Stanton sure would have helped. The Dodgers would love to add a slugging righty. Yes, Justin Turner is a slugging righty, but L.A. needs more than one to balance a lefty-leaning lineup. Chris Taylor had a remarkable year for a first-time, full-time player.
But he stumbled a bit down the stretch, and he isn’t the kind of bat that overwhelmingly strikes fear in opposing teams. Throughout last season, it felt like Taylor would smoke a line drive into the left-field corner every time the Dodgers needed a clutch hit. But, is he the type of dependable right-handed power bat who can carry the Dodgers to just one more win in the 2018 post-season?
There are several right-handed bats available on the open market, but it would need to be a very specific right-handed bat, one that can play an outfield corner. J.D. Martinez is the obvious No. 1 power hitting corner outfielder available from that side of the plate.
Martinez was spectacular after his trade from Detroit to Arizona. Arguably, he supplanted perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt as the Diamondbacks’ best hitter over the second half of the season.
But, if the Dodgers were reluctant to pay $250 or so million to trade for Stanton, they surely will be on the sidelines for what could be $150 or so million for Martinez.
On the trade front, the Dodgers have been linked to Miami’s Marcell Ozuna ever since Stanton was sent to New York.
Ozuna checks every single box the Dodgers are looking for: Power (37 HRs, 124 RBIs in 2017), average (.312/.376/.548 in 2017), he’s right-handed, he plays a stellar left field, he made $3.5 million last year and won’t hit free agency until after the 2019 season.
Granted, all this means he will probably cost a Verdugo or Buehler, but this one may be worth the trade.
Not getting a right-handed impact bat won’t derail the Dodgers’ 2018 hopes, but it certainly won’t help.