Dodgers: What Would it Take to Make Room For Yu?
Just as it looked like the Dodgers off-season was winding down, there was a flicker of hope that the club could still land Yu Darvish.
It was reported on Monday that Yu Darvish remains interested in a return to the Dodgers if the Dodgers can somehow clear enough salary. The Dodgers remain firm on their intent to stay under the luxury tax line but if they can clear enough room to fit in Yu Darvish then that would be one heck of a final move to end the off-season.
As things currently stand, the Dodgers sit approximately 16 million dollars under the luxury tax threshold but that doesn’t take into account the extra money that players can make in incentives. That would leave the Dodgers with about five to six million dollars left to spend while staying under the luxury tax. Darvish will more than likely get 20-22 million dollars a year so the Dodgers would have to clear about fifteen to seventeen million dollars in order to be able to bring Yu Darvish back and stay under the luxury tax threshold.
While the Dodgers would love to be able to dump some of Matt Kemp’s salary that he is owed, it doesn’t appear that there are any takers. The logical candidates to be traded who actually have trade value are Yasmani Grandal (7.9 mil), Hyun-Jin Ryu (7.8 mil), and Logan Forsythe (9 mil). If the Dodgers traded any two of Ryu, Forsythe, and Grandal, then the team should have enough space to sign Yu Darvish.
Grandal is a top ten catcher in baseball so outside of a few teams who are set at catcher like the Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Cardinals, there would be plenty of takers for Yasmani Grandal in return for salary relief. A couple fits that would make sense for him are the Brewers, Red Sox, Nationals, and A’s just to name a few teams. Even outside of the contenders, a rebuilding team like the A’s would make sense so they could flip him later in the season for a prospect or two.
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Ryu is another candidate who the Dodgers would have little trouble finding a taker for. Ryu when healthy is a solid three to four starter on a contending team. With a strong finish to last season, there is some value to be had in Ryu. Any team looking for a solid cost-efficient starting pitcher would likely be interested in him. Some teams that come to mind for Ryu are the Mets, Brewers, Royals, and Mariners.
Forsythe has some decent trade value because of his strong post-season performance. He is also known as a solid clubhouse guy and is capable of playing solid defense all over the infield. Nine million for a year of Forsythe is a reasonable deal in today’s market. He could be had for less than Josh Harrison for a team like the Mets who were rumored to be interested in Harrison.
The downsides of trading the aforementioned players are that for Forsythe and Grandal, there would be a hit on the depth chart at their positions. The Dodgers have the most organizational talent at catcher of any team in the big leagues, but a lot of their prospects are still in the lower minors. Austin Barnes has claimed the starting catcher role but if he were to go down the Dodgers would be down to an unproven Kyle Farmer without Grandal.
There are similar downsides to trading Logan Forsythe away. Not only would the Dodgers lose a great clubhouse leader, they would also lose a solid defender at second base as well as the number one backup at third base for Justin Turner. If Forsythe was dealt away then Chris Taylor would likely shift to second base but that would open up two holes in the outfield since the Dodgers don’t have a bonafide starter in left field yet.
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There is no doubt that Yu Darvish would upgrade the Dodgers rotation once again if he was brought back to LA. World Series aside, the guy is one of the filthiest starters in baseball and would take pressure off the entire rotation. The Dodgers would have to make several potential costly moves to make room for Darvish, but with Kershaw in a contract year, it’s time to do whatever it takes to bring a World Series title back to Los Angeles.