Originally posted on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 6/29/12


It's no secret the Dodgers are looking to upgrade their corner infield positions this summer, offensively speaking. Though the Dodgers are one of the best defensive teams in the league, as they currently rank 7th overall in Defensive Efficiency Rating (DER). Offensively, I'll be nice and just say there is room for improvement. They tend to hang in the middle of the pack as a team in most offensive categories, but in OPS the Dodgers are 23rd, not good.

A large part of that is due to James Loney and Juan Uribe. I pulled up the MLB rankings by position this morning, so I sorted the sheet by first baseman, not gonna lie, I wasn't surprised with my findings. James Loney currently ranks 24th in AVG, 27th in OBP, and he's ranked dead last in SLG among MLB first basemen. Sad. Unfortunately I couldn't stack Uribe up against the leagues 3B, but it doesn't matter, we already know how offensively challenged he is.

Then Jon Heyman suggested the Toronto Blue Jays could shop Edwin Encarnacion this summer. That could make Encarnacion one of the best hitters to hit the trade market, with Carlos Quentin and Alfonso Soriano. Sounds like a match made in heaven for the boys in blue. Encarnacion is batting a slash line of .285/.360/.574, with 22 home runs, and 54 RBIs. That's hitting in the AL East, against some of the leagues best pitching. Though Encarnacion is primarily serving as a DH over in Toronto, he has a great experience at playing both corner infield positions.

Encarnacion, 29,  is making $3.5MM in 2012, being in the midst of his breakout season, he is all set to get his first huge pay-day this winter. The Blue Jays once looked like contenders to win the AL East this year, but after being dealt a large portion of injuries the Jays have found themselves in last place, 8.5 games behind the Yankees. It's growing increasingly probable the Jays could become sellers this summer, especially if they already feel they won't be able to secure Encarnacion long-term.

The Blue Jays are looking for pitching according to Heyman, so this certainly plays into the Dodgers favor. The Dodgers have a surplus of pitching, with three left-handers in the starting rotation, and some quality depth in the minor leagues. Names like Zach Lee, Nate Eovaldi, Allen Webster, and Chris Reed could come into play. The Dodgers also have some young bullpen arms like Javy Guerra, Shawn Tolleson, and Josh Lindblom that could be attractive trade pieces. Then there's also James Loney who could fit into the Blue Jays lineup quite nicely. Loney is one of the better defending first basemen in the league, he could take over duties for Adam Lind, allowing him to move over to a OF/DH role. Perhaps a change of scenery with a small market team will allow Loney to become the hitter he's capable of being.
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