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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Dodgers Roster: Where Will 2018 See Joc Pederson?

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We are now within the one month range of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. As we have mentioned so many times before, the team appears to stand pat for now, which the exception of a few relief pitchers.

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Dodgers 2018 Roster: Putting Together a Working Outfield

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Even though we’re still outside the 30-day window for players reporting to spring camp, we still can’t help speculating what the regular season roster may look like for the Dodgers, especially when we try to layout any type of prospective lineup on paper.

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Dodgers Roster: Trying to Make Sense of the 2018 Outfield Picture

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It’s only November, and already many fans of the Dodgers have been trying to put together an outfield plan for the upcoming 2018 campaign. We are guilty of it, too—over the last few weeks we have talked about where Chris Taylor fits into next year’s roster strategy, in addition to discussing how Andrew Toles returns from a severed ACL. Anything can happen over the next few months, especially with the Winter Meetings approaching; but based on what we know right now, we decided to attempt to paint a picture of what may lie ahead.

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Dodgers Weighing Multiple Options as 2017 Trade Deadline Approaches

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And so the second half, and the trade cycle, of the 2017 season begins. The Chicago Cubs kicked it off with a trade with their cross city partners, acquiring Jose Quintana from the White Sox for two of their top prospects, plus one other. Quintana had been on the Dodgers‘ radar for the last season and a half. The reigning World Series champs obviously felt they needed to jump to rush to acquire who they thought could help their team.

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Dodgers Outfield: A Quick Look at the Big League Depth Chart

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On a day when many folks close to the Dodgers await the outcome of an MRI on the right knee of Andrew Toles, it may be worth taking a quick moment to peek at the club’s outfield depth, if only at the majority of the players who appear to be major league ready.

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Should Joc Pederson Receive More Plate Appearances Against Lefty Pitching?

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So far during the young 2017 season, one of the more common lineup themes of the Dodgers has been to employ utility man Enrique Hernandez in center field against left-handed pitching, while stashing away Joc Pederson on the pine for possible appearances later in games against righty pitching, or for his skills as a defensive replacement.

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Dodgers Roster: Putting Together an Outfield at Oklahoma City

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Even though there’s plenty of time left in spring training for the landscape of the big league outfield to change, it’s still not difficult to make an educated guess regarding the outfield crew at Oklahoma City, as the Dodgers‘ surplus of young talent has now created a very crowded locker room at even the Triple-A level.

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Brett Eibner Could Be Dodgers’ 25-Man Roster Dark Horse

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The exact make up of the Dodgers outfield is still unknown. Manager Dave Roberts has come out many times saying that Yasiel Puig will be starting in right field, and Joc Pederson will retain his roll in center. Left field is a bit uncertain, but look for Andre Ethier to have the starting role there. Where the real fun begins is determining who will make the team as reserves.

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Will a Healthy Trayce Thompson Contend for Dodgers’ 25-Man Roster?

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The answer is yes, although there’s a slim chance he’ll be among the 25 players suited up for Opening Day.

As it stands now, assuming Andre Ethier comes away from a bout of back spasms unscathed, the primary outfield crew for the Dodgers‘ big league squad will consist of Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, along with the 34-year-old Ethier. And according to our latest projections, newcomer Franklin Gutierrez warrants a spot based on his contract alone, while utility man Scott Van Slyke sneaks on the 25-man primarily for his ability to effectively provide cover at first base.

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