Is Christian Yelich a Good Fit for Dodgers?

Ever since the Marlins agreed to the deal to send Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees in early December, fans around the league knew it was just a matter of time before Miami scraped away all the excess salary it could in an effort to begin a massive rebuild. Not long after the New York trade, Dee Gordon was shipped off to the Mariners, and about a week after that deal, Marcell Ozuna was sent to the Cardinals.

Now that much of the dust has settled on the Marlins’ roster, there has been one particular player—26-year-old outfielder Christian Yelich—who has been campaigning for his own personal one-way ticket out of town.

Yelich’s agent, Joe Longo, has recently taken to the media to share Team Yelich’s thoughts, basically hoping that all of the outcry will somehow lead to Miami’s front office being convinced to move the former Gold Glove winner.

“They have a plan,” Longo stated. “I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where we want to see him going. The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.”

Whether or not this exhibition will actually work and get Yelich out of Fishtown remains to be seen, but what we do know it that there are a high number of teams across the league who have keen interest in the California native. The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels, Padres, Diamondbacks and Phillies are all rumored to have reached out to Miami in possible trade talks. There is even some buzz about the Braves gaining momentum in discussions with the Marlins; however, the Fish are asking that Atlanta’s top organizational prospect, Ronald Acuna, be the centerpiece of the deal.

Yelich’s salary is still inside the team-friendly part of his contract, as he will earn an even $7 million for the upcoming season—a figure the Dodgers would undoubtedly be comfortable in handling. After that, he’s scheduled to earn $9.75 million in 2019, $12.5 million in 2020 and $14 million in 2021—certainly sums Los Angeles would be comfortable in dishing out as its payroll appears to be decreasing perennially.

Primarily as a center fielder last season, the left-handed hitting Yelich hit .282/.369/.439 with 36 doubles, 18 long balls, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases. His benchmark campaign to date came in 2016 when he was mainly left fielder. He won a Silver Slugger Award that year, as he slashed .298/.376/.483 with 38 doubles, 21 homers and 98 RBI.

And contrary to what his -0.6 defensive WAR last season suggests, he’s about as dependable as they come with the glove. He led the entire National League in innings at center field last year, and he was the only player in the top ten of NL center fielders in innings to commit fewer than two errors. If there is one downside, it was the fact that he had just one outfield assist all season long. Nevertheless, looking at his entire game, there’s no question he could slide into the Dodgers’ lineup and make a positive impact.

As it stands now, there’s a long line for playing time in the Los Angeles outfield next season. Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson are the early favorites to lock down starting spots, with Andrew Toles also promising to contend after missing the majority of 2017 with an ACL tear. Enrique Hernandez, Rob Segedin and Trayce Thompson will be poised to handle the utility roles, and there’s also a remote shot the club could hang onto former All-Star Matt Kemp, who conceivably can be used as an offensive weapon against southpaw pitching. In addition, Alex Verdugo, Tim Locastro, Henry Ramos and Travis Taijeron all have the ability to provide extra depth on the fringe.

If a deal were to be negotiated, logic says that at least a few of the aforementioned names would be moved to bring in Yelich. Toles or Pederson could definitely be part of the package, with another of the fringe players adding depth to a potential trade. But, seeing how the Marlins are aiming high with the Braves and asking for Acuna, it may not be that easy. I’d like to think a package of Toles, Verdugo and Jordan Sheffield—or something of the like—would be enough to get a deal done, but that all depends on the perspectives of the Miami front office and ownership group.

At the end of the day, though, as intriguing as a deal for Yelich actually sounds, perhaps the focus of the Dodgers should stay with the starting rotation or the bullpen. There’s still a decent amount of cash left to spend below the luxury tax threshold, and the club may be better suited to acquire another quality pitcher before it adds more talent to an already stacked outfield.

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When Will Dodgers Join the Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes?

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Back in December, it appeared as if the Yankees had agreed with the Pirates on a deal to acquire righty starter Gerrit Cole, however, those rumors eventually fizzled when both sides couldn’t see eye to eye on a return package. Several weeks later, a separate deal with the Astros looked to be imminent, yet despite those particular reports, the Cubs are apparently now in the running among who knows how many other clubs. And even though the Dodgers don’t necessarily need another front-line starter, it probably wouldn’t hurt the Los Angeles front office crew to exercise their due diligence and make a few phone calls.

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Yasiel Puig Trade Rumors Surfacing Yet Again

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(Mandatory Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

The offseason is going especially slow this year, with but a few trades and signings scattered throughout to keep us going. What the reason for it is, no one seems to know for sure. It could be the front offices are not really seeing anyone they really want to add to their team. It could just be that they are all waiting out the market.

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Dodgers 25-Man Roster: What’s Next on Andrew Friedman’s Wish List?

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(Photo by Stephen Carr, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Of course, the ultimate aspiration for a baseball boss is to bring home an MLB Championship to his organization. But, building a competitive player roster is the first step of the process, and despite a few early signs from the Dodgers possibly staying quiet over the winter, Andrew Friedman and his troops have lately been busy on the phones in their quests for personnel upgrades. The question lingering now is, how many more moves will the management crew make before players begin reporting to spring camp?

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Will Dodgers Pursue Bryce Harper in 2018?

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On Saturday, the Dodgers announced that they had traded four players to the Braves in exchange for Matt Kemp. It was a rare trade that worked for both sides, in that both teams got the salary dump they were looking for, plus the Braves got some players that can be useful to them in 2018 and beyond. Yesterday we touched on what it meant to the players that were traded and where it left the roster. But what does it mean for the Dodgers going forward?

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Dodgers Front Office Taking Conservative Approach, and That’s OK

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(Photo Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Baseball’s Winter Meetings start today, and the Dodgers have yet to make any moves. For a team that had the best record in baseball last year, and were one win a way from winning it all, that wouldn’t normally be a big concern. To the Los Angeles front office, I’m sure it isn’t. With fans, it’s probably a different story.

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Giancarlo Stanton to Dodgers Starting to Seem More Plausible

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(Mandatory Credit: Jason Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

A little bit ago I wrote about how it seemed very unlikely that Giancarlo Stanton would be a member of the Dodgers in 2018. While it is still far from fruition, it does seem more plausible than it did a few weeks ago.

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Winter Meetings Could Finally Shift 2017-18 Offseason into Full Gear

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Yu Darvish has been traded to the Dodgers.” It’s a statement that rang throughout baseball at about 1:15PM PST on July 31st, 2017. As fans waited anxiously by their TVs and laptops, phones in hand refreshing Twitter and watching MLB Network, news arrived like a gentle snow in the middle of January.

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Dodgers Rumors: The Latest on Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani

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(UPI Photo)

Normally, when baseball’s Winter Meetings are less than a week from their commencement, speculation surrounding free agent signings and potential trades of dozens of players are swirling like crazy around the baseball blogosphere. However, this year seems to have a bit of a different flavor, as most of the news around the league is about  two players only—Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani.

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Do the Dodgers Even Need to Deal Yasmani Grandal at All?

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The Yasmani Grandal trade rumors began as far back as the beginning of the 2017 playoffs, when the management crew of the Dodgers started to make clear that Austin Barnes was the preferred catcher of choice for the postseason, and perhaps the chief catcher moving forward. Now that Grandal is ready to embark on his walk-year, everyone around baseball is anticipating that Los Angeles will deal the 29-year-old switch-hitter before the deadlines this summer.

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