Posted December. 02, 2014 08:24,
When the LA Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals at the 2014 Major League Championships Division Series, its first response was to complement the front line. It created new unit "baseball operations" and hired a 38-year-old Andrew Friedman as its new president, while also nominating Farhan Zaidi as new general manager.
About 45 days have passed since Friedman came to helm but Dodgers has yet to show major progress. The only changes were to bring in pitchers Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio and Mike Bolsinger to strengthen bull pen. They don`t represent radical changes in team`s power. Peralta replaced Jose Dominguez, a rising star who pitches 100 miles per second, and is judged as bad bargain.
It is difficult for Dodgers to catch big fish in the free agent market since its 2014 team annual salary amounts to 238 million U.S. dollars. It has to fill in shortstop position after Hanley Ramirez left to the Boston Red Sox.
At the moment, the LA Dodgers is expected to consider trade first to bring in potential rising players at lower annual salary. This is why Matt Kemp trade rumors are being spread. Friedman declared he would trade high-salary outfielder.
Kemp is the best option among high-salary outfielders. Kemp was able to play for just 179 games in the past two seasons due to injury, recording 29 home runs and 102 runs. However he played in 150 games this year. In the latter 62 games, he posted batting average of 0.309, 17 home runs and 54 runs, with performance matching his 2011 season when he was second ranking in National League MVP.
Dodgers` left-hitters Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford are not attractive enough to rival teams considering their 2014 performance. Trade will be possible when Dodgers embraces high annual salary burden. Crawford has 62.25 million dollars to go and Ethier 53.50 million dollars. For Kemp, Dodgers have to pay him a total of 107.5 million dollars up to 2019 including his 2015 annual salary of 21 million dollars.
After the 2012 season, Dodgers brought in Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-jin from the FA market, showing off image as a major market player. However, it is seeking breakthrough from major trade this year. It will be interesting to see what card Dodgers will draw out from the deck at the winter meeting a week ahead.