After a dizzying three weeks in which they completely revamped their front office, the Dodgers appear to be turning their focus to matters on the field. And first up is that crowded — and expensive — outfield.
Sources have informed FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal that new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and the L.A. brain trust are aggressively trying to move an outfielder, and that nearly all are in play.
Sources: #Dodgers aggressively trying to move Kemp, Crawford or Ethier. Puig not in play.
Moving an outfielder has been one of the club’s top offseason priorities (along with figuring out whether to re-sign free agent Hanley Ramirez and improving the bullpen), as the Dodgers have four tied up to big-dollar deals, plus a fifth knocking on the MLB door in prospect Joc Pederson.
Matt Kemp has battled injuries the last few seasons but seemed to play near his MVP runner-up form from 2011 in the second half of last season. He is still owed $107 million over five seasons. Carl Crawford is still due $62.25 million over three years. Andre Ethier, on the other hand, is owed the least (three years, $56 million, including a buyout). But he is also coming off the worst season of his career, was the odd man out in the outfield down the stretch last season, and likely would yield the least in return. But . . . like Crawford, he is also left-handed.
#Dodgers willing to include anything from no money to significant money depending upon return.
For all of his head-scratching decisions on the field and rumored penchant for annoying his teammates in the clubhouse, Yasiel Puig remains in the team’s future plans, along with the 22-year-old Pederson, the 2014 Pacific Coast League MVP.
After assuming his post with the Dodgers last month, Friedman has added former A’s assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi as the Dodgers’ new GM, former Padres and Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes to head scouting and player development, former MLB outfielder and FOX Sports MLB analyst Gabe Kapler as player development director, and Billy Gasparino as amateur scouting director.
Ned Colletti, the Dodgers’ GM for 10 seasons before Friedman’s arrival, is now a senior advisor to team president and CEO Stan Kasten.