Dodgers: Will it be a Blue Christmas for the Dodgers?
By Mike Margy
No left fielder?
Here’s where Stanton sure would have helped … again! The Dodgers have several left field options for 2018: Joc Pederson, Kike Hernandez, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo are the current choices. All but Hernandez are left-handed hitters, and only Toles has sustained something approaching “above average” for an extended period at the Major League level.
Maybe the best option for the Dodgers in left? How about Taylor, leaving center field open for, say, oh, I don’t know, Lorenzo Cain?
Cain will be in his age 32 season in 2018 and will probably look for something in the four-year/$100 million categories. That’s doable for the Dodgers, but perhaps unlikely, considering they want to get under the tax threshold before the draft picks penalties to kick in.
If not Cain, then why not move Taylor to left to sign center fielder Carlos Gomez, a Gold Glover and two-time All-Star? Gomez also will be in his age 32 season and would probably command about the same as Cain.
Neither Cain nor Gomez are game-changing bats, but both have OPS’s over .800 and can still patrol center field with the best of them.
Settling on someone early in the off-season would set the Dodgers up only to need a bit of tinkering around the edges for 2018. Everyone would know their roles before camp begins, allowing manager Dave Roberts to set his lineup from the get-go.
Coming away from the off-season without settling on a full-time left fielder – even if it means moving Taylor to left and signing a center fielder – wouldn’t hurt the Dodgers chances at a sixth straight NL West title, or even their chances at their first World Series title in 30 years. But it sure wouldn’t help.