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Royals Review analyzes Dodgers outfield for possible trades:


Yasiel Puig
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 5.1/9.1
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 147/152
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: 4.9/12
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .294/.372/.490, 23 HR, 145 wRC+, 5.2 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $6.25 million/$31 million through 2018
  • 2015 Age: 24

Wouldn't it be nice to have Puig? A 5 WAR player under an extremely reasonable contract for the next four seasons? Yeah, Friedman thinks so too.  Puig stays.

Carl Crawford
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 2.5/41.2
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 119/106
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: N/A
  • 2015 Steamer Projection:.274/.317/.412, 13 HR, 107 wRC+, 2.3 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $20.5 million/$42.25 million through 2017
  • 2015 Age:33

After signing a giant contract with the Red Sox in 2011, Crawford immediately pulled off the two worst seasons of his career.  The Dodgers, eager to improve and with apparently limitless money to spend, took him on in 2013.  Since then, Crawford has been pretty productive, putting up 5.4 WAR.  There are three problems about acquiring Crawford: age, handedness, and fielding history.  Crawford is not Benjamin Button and will (most likely, you never know) age normally, which is to say for a baseball player entering his mid 30s, not well.  Furthermore, he's a lefty who has never played right field in the major leagues.  The Royals already have two lefties in the outfield, and getting someone with some experience in right is probably a focus for them.  Crawford's out.

Andre Ethier
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 0.7/20.6
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 98/121
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: -5.9/-20
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: ..261/.336/.400, 4 HR, 109 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $18 million/$53.5 million (plus a $17.5M vesting option for 2018) through 2017
  • 2015 Age: 33

Ethier is a player who's earned his keep from his above average hitting, which is now in decline.  He's getting paid a lot of money to do so.  Steamer projects him at exactly 0.0 WAR, though where it has him playing in the field I don't know.  Ethier played mostly center field this year, which was bad as you might expect, but wouldn't play center under any circumstances with the Royals if they were to acquire him.

Here's where salary comes into play.  Part of the reason to trade an outfielder like Ethier is to do so for salary relief, but he's under contract for so much that the Dodgers would have to eat some of the salary.  Ethier could probably be acquired cheaply in terms of prospects, and would be a decent veteran acquisition should he be on the free agent market.  If the Dodgers kick in at least $10 million a year, the Royals could consider Ethier.

Matt Kemp
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 1.8/22.1
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 140/128
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: -6.7/-1
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .272/.339/.470, 26 HR, 128 wRC+, 2.5 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $21 million/$107 million through 2019
  • 2015 Age: 30

Here's where things are really interesting.  Matt Kemp sounds like a big name, yes, but Kemp is probably one of the most overrated players in baseball.  In 2011, he put up 8.4 WAR, smashing 39 home runs and hitting 68% above league average in the process.  In his other eight seasons, he's never put up more than 5 WAR; in fact, over half of his career value has come from 2009 and 2011.  Alex Gordon is a significantly better outfielder than Matt Kemp is, and it's not really close.

However, Kemp is being paid like he's putting up 2011 numbers, which is unfortunate for the Dodgers, because he's been injured and/or awful in the three years since.  He's a horror to watch in center, but his best position is right field where he's merely not good--Defensive Runs Saved from the Fielding Bible even basically has him as an average defender there for his career.  He's definitely a defensive liability going forward, but his bat more than makes up for it.

If the Dodgers kicked in enough so that a trade would mean 5 years and $50 million commitment, the Royals should listen.  With the value of the win rising and his contract locked in and even each year, and considering a healthy Kemp is worth between 2 and 3 WAR, I think the Royals would seriously think about it.  If the Royals were on the hook for 5 years and $40 million, I think it would be even more attractive.

Scott Van Slyke
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 2.8/0.8
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 160/134
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: 12.4/1
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .239/.324/.406, 7 HR, 110 wRC+, 0.8 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: League minimum/Arb eligible in 2016
  • 2015 Age:28

Van Slyke is also an interesting option.  A career minor leaguer who has spent 9 seasons in the MiLB, Van Slyke debuted with the Dodgers in 2012 and has gained more playing time each year since.  He had an amazing offensive season in 2014, but it was fueled by a huge .394 BABIP, and he's not particularly fast or powerful so that number should be considered an outlier.  Even with a BABIP in the range of mortals, Steamer projects good offense from him, although with some iffy defense.

He's not flashy nor a big name, and there's probably no upside left for a 28 year old, but Van Slyke is a good acquisition for the Royals.  He's making the league minimum for another year, and will reach modest arbitration salaries starting in 2016.  For a guy who's probably somewhere around league average, and for a team whose own young players are getting paid in arbitration, Van Slyke is an acceptable, dare I say 'cromulent,' option for right field a la Aoki.

Joc Pederson, Scott Schebler

It's worth mentioning these players, for they are truly the reason for the Outfield Scramble.  Pederson put up an OPS of over 1 in AAA in 2014, continuing his trend of destroying every baseball possible in the minor leagues.  Schebler hasn't been quite as good, but has posted an OPS of safely over .900 for two straight years (in A+ and AA, respectively) and is a legitimate prospect who will be 24 next year.  The Royals probably won't move to acquire either, as they are searching for veterans and not prospects at this juncture.  But they are a duo to watch, for sure.

***

The more that I think about it, the more I like trying to pry Kemp from the Dodgers for as little as possible.  Kemp is still reasonably young at 30.  Furthermore, Kemp could be utilized as a DH some days in 2015 and might eventually shift there part or full time as he enters his mid 30s.

After that, I think I would like Van Slyke over Ethier.  I'm wary of Ethier's aging and offensive decline, and while Van Slyke isn't exciting, he's also extremely functional and available.

Regardless, the Dodgers are a possible trade partner for the Royals.  Keep an eye on the Dodgers--they're going to trade with someone, but only Friedman knows what he's looking to do.

3 weeks ago on Rejoice! Dodgers To Hire Farhan Zaidi as GM

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@FantasticFlex @Lobo its a fucking QS, bitch.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: So That Happened, Again

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@OCDodger except StL seems to own him and his tendency to choke in playoffs.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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know what we need? First pitch swings...WTF.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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@moneynow27 pitching to Carp is sure up there.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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We need to bring in a fucking RIGHTY to pitch to that moth$%^&*er Carpenter

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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Rojas, GW Single. 11th.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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I know he is hated, but this line resonates:


You're winning and it's OK that this team's only real leader is not the guy who leads the league in runs batted in and billboard photos — Adrian Gonzalez — but a guy who plays just once every five days. If you don't think Kershaw deserves the MVP award for keeping this circus under one tent, then you haven't been paying attention.- Plaschke

2 months, 1 week ago on Rockies 10, Dodgers 4: Coors Field, Still The Worst

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Oh he of famous Lasorda rant, Kurt Bevacqua is on twitter: https://twitter.com/KurtBevacqua

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Cubs 7, Dodgers 3: Bad Pitching Is Bad

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it's only one game.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Tigers July 8, 2014: Hyun-jin Ryu And A Former Mismatch

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best soccer gif ever: Tim Howard's 16 saves:


https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/Br1IlF4IIAAce1W.mp4

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Rockies 8, Dodgers 7: The Most Fun Loss Of The Year

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Perfecto!

7 months, 1 week ago on Phillies @ Dodgers, April 23, 2014: Enter Hamels

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@DBrim @MSTI>Dodgers Digestlove Dodgers Digest, just shows you how much Iloved MSTI. No disrespect intended

7 months, 1 week ago on Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 19, 2014: Bolsinger?

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Kenley coming in for the the Chokeston impression?

7 months, 1 week ago on Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 19, 2014: Bolsinger?

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@DBrim @MSTI>Dodgers DigestIt's more a problem with moving on that I have

8 months ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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Why did Hanley cut off Puig in 1st?

8 months ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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DEEEEEE, 1st pitch swinging machine

8 months ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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Gonna smoke those snakes!

8 months, 1 week ago on Dodgers announce Australia roster, with a few surprises

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Good deal for the Dodgers to lock up Kenley

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers sign Kenley Jansen to $4.3 million deal, avoid arbitration

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it happens

11 months, 3 weeks ago on No News Is Good News

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what about getting hit in head with ball as batter where helmet is insufficient?

11 months, 3 weeks ago on No News Is Good News

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yeah, like I said, it's a poor slide. Call it what you want, it's a slide. 


BAN SLIDING!

11 months, 3 weeks ago on No News Is Good News

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zero evidence collision ban in MLB prevents brain damage

11 months, 3 weeks ago on No News Is Good News

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