The Dodgers have four starting outfielders. Here, I'll list them: Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig. And they haven't bought another outfielder for over a year, so they're getting antsy. Someone has to go.
They got away without hurt feelings last year because everyone got injured at exactly the right time. Right when Ethier was coming back, Crawford got hurt. And when Crawford starting coming back, Kemp got hurt. It wasn't quite as fortuitous as the 2010 Giants' injuries leading to Pat Burrell, Andres Torres, and Cody Ross. But it could have been a lot more painful for the Dodgers.
So this doesn't come as a huge shock, but sources are telling Ken Rosenthal that the non-Puigs are on the market.
the Dodgers, according to major-league sources, are listening on Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, telling prospective suitors, "If you’re interested in one of them, make us an offer."
Kemp (29) still has six years and $128 million left, Crawford (32) has $82.5 million and four years left, and Ethier (32) has four years and $71.5 million left. The question is simple: What do you want the Dodgers to do? I'll start.
I want the Dodgers to encourage Adrian Gonzalez to do that thing where he puts a finger on Yasiel Puig's shirt and says, "What's that on your shirt?", and when Puig looks down, Gonzalez runs his finger up and pokes Puig in the nose, because if that happens I'm pretty sure Puig would beat Gonzalez with a rake. Also, the Dodgers should film it.
Here's another simple question, though. What do you want the Dodgers to do with their outfield? As in, what would be the worst move they could make out of the realistic options? Note that I wrote "realistic," as they probably aren't going to re-sign Juan Uribe and put him in center.
That's a lot of scratch still owed to Kemp, alright. If they get rid of that, they'll have money to spend, which hahahaha. Like they care. But, still. It seems like that would be a contract to get rid of.
But Crawford and Ethier are on the wrong side of 30. I'll give 50-percent odds that one of them is still good in 2015, when they'll still be really, really expensive. No, I think I'm in favor of the Dodgers getting rid of Kemp, who was considered one of the very, very best players in baseball as recently as 15 months ago. He was #7 on the FanGraphs Trade Value list in the middle of last season. Seventh! That was after the contract extension.
The problem is the Dodgers are flush enough to be jerks and actually get real prospects back instead of straight salary relief.
All things being equal, though, the best scenario is probably Kemp going away to star somewhere else, and Crawford/Ethier decaying in the outfield, while the Dodgers figure how to make the transition to rookies and different expensive free agents gracefully.
More specifically, I hope they all suck. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Kemp is the least likely to suck.
There's a poll!