Heading into the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to be fairly well-off when it comes to depth in their outfield. There is certainly no guarantee that they will not be affected by injury (considering they set a record with 28 players to hit the Disabled List in the 2016 campaign). However, they are under the impression that their outfield entering this season will be healthy. On paper, the Dodgers’ starters appear to be quite versatile; but could they consider shopping one or more of their veterans (Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke, or Yasiel Puig) for more speed or a high-caliber starting pitcher?
One reason why the question may come up is due to the impact of base running in the close games during the regular season. There is obvious production that it can have in the post season also. It is evident that Andrew Toles works well into future plans for the Dodgers. His speed threat provides an outlet for Los Angeles to produce more runs this coming season. Seeking a bat from either side of the plate could work out well when Pederson, Toles, Puig, etc. need a day of rest.
Perhaps a reliable Paulo Orlando could become a potential option to explore – after hitting .302 with 14 steals in 2016 (via: mlb.com/paulo-orlando) – while playing primarily in right field. He also possess’ enough speed and versatility to cover the remaining two outfield positions as well. After acquiring Jorge Soler, the Royals could be willing to move a guy like Orlando for some depth in their starting rotation. This makes parting ways with a wildly inconsistent Brandon McCarthy or the over-extended bounce back of Hyun-Jin Ryu much more feasible.
It might be worth noting that a potential run at Sonny Gray could occur before the Trade Deadline this season. A struggling Oakland organization may have interest in giving up their prized ace for a still-young Yasiel Puig, and/or Trayce Thompson (if he is unable to stick up quality numbers to start the new season), and maybe a prospect or two, if they are unable to pick up the pace early in 2017.
Striking a deal like this could mean a fresh start for Puig. This, while he still holds value to the Dodgers, and other organizations. As for Thompson, injury setbacks have been the only main delay to what looks like a player ready to breakout. This could also relieve some stress from Julio Urias. He will likely be feeling stress after reports of him becoming the fourth starter in the Dodgers rotation. Ultimately, the Dodgers could throw in on of their potential fifth-spot starters to sweeten up a deal. This should be just enough to land Sonny Gray.
Rumors and moves should commence around the all-star break, but there is potential for early-season acquisitions. These are just a couple of outlets that could make sense for the Dodgers to explore. It may not be overly likely for them to look at these players specifically. However, you could expect help from players that compare closely to these possibilities. It all depends on how the 2017 season starts off.