Originally written on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 11/19/14


The All-Star Game is here and so you know what that means, rumors, rumors, and more rumors. We are exactly three weeks away from the July non-waiver trade deadline, so the Dodgers rumor mill, as busy as it's been, is about to get even busier.

The Dodgers are in the market for a corner infielder, as Dylan Hernandez verified once again for us just a couple days ago. The only problem with that is, the market for corner infielders is definitely a buyers market. First of all, at least eight teams are in the market for corner infield help, including the Angels, Pirates, Reds, Indians, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Giants, and of course the Dodgers. Some of those teams need help at first, third base, and then there are teams like the Orioles and Dodgers who could use an upgrade at both positions. So we've established some of the buyers, so let's take a look at some of the potentially available players this summer.

The problem is most available players aren't really upgrades, guys like Chone Figgins, Ty Wigginton, Adam Lind, Cody Ransom, Mike Fontenot, and Placido Polanco. Those are some of the better available names, but should not be considered upgrades, nor should they be considered trade options for the Dodgers. With the Dodgers missing out on both Kevin Youkilis and Carlos Lee, the market is thinning out a bit, so the Dodgers time to execute is now.

The real list of trade targets consists of:

Edwin Encarnacion- Perhaps the best available corner infielder on the market right now, the fact he can play first or third makes him even more attractive. The Blue Jays want a starting pitcher for Encarnacion. I've already expressed my interest in Encarnacion, and I certainly believe he should be the top target right now. If the Dodgers make Chad Billingsley available, I'm thinking the Blue Jays and Dodgers could get a deal done. Encarnacion, 29,  is making $3.5MM in 2012, and heads into the second half of the season with a slash line of .295/.382/.565, with 23 home runs, and 58 runs batted in.

Aramis Ramirez- Certainly one of the more intriguing names to watch this summer, but I'm not sure the Brewers are sellers quite yet. My gut is telling me yes, which could mean Ramirez, Corey Hart, and Zack Greinke could all be available. A package will have to consist of Zach Lee and at least three more top ten prospects to obtain any one of these three players. Ramirez has hit .272/.346/.475 so far in 2012, which, offensively is a massive improvement over the Adam Kennedy and Juan Uribe deployment.

A-Ram's defense on a grading scale would probably get a D minus, yes, it's really that bad. However, he more than makes up for it with his offense, and still holds value based on his $6MM 2012 salary. But it's never that simple of course. There’s a ton of money the Dodgers would be taking on over the next 2.5 years, roughly $3MM remaining in 2012, $10MM in 2013, and $16MM in 2014 with a 2015 mutual option/$4MM buyout. That's a huge commitment to a player who could begin his decline at any time. Still, the Dodgers are running on empty with internal 3B options, the impending free agent class is bleak, and so the Dodgers are left to fill the void at third base for at least another three years.

Chase Headley- He's a great baseball player and the Dodgers have already had discussions with the Padres about his availability. Headley, 28, is hitting a respectable .267/.368/.413, with eight home runs, and 42 runs battted in heading into the second half. I tend to think he could improve those numbers outside Petco Park, especially inside Dodger Stadium where he has hit .327/.409/.509, with 11 doubles, 15 RBI, and three home runs in 127 plate appearances. He was recently ranked by Fangraphs as 2012's 13th most valuable position player, so he is going to require Zach Lee, plus at least three top 10 prospects to get him in Dodger blue. This is mainly because he's earning only $3.475MM this season, his second in his arbitration eligible years. He's also a Super Two, meaning, he's still got two more years of team control remaining before being eligible for free agency, and that won't happen until after the 2014 season. Steep price but well worth it in my opinion.

Justin Morneau- This is more of a last resort option, as I don't ever see Morneau being the impressive player he once was. Morneau's production has been acceptable, barely. Ten homers and a .246/.312/.440 batting line. But his contract, $14MM per season through 2013, and his never-ending battle with injuries, add in his concussion issues, and you have too many red flags to ignore.


Bryan LaHair- Another last resort option and not much more. He's certainly an upgrade over Loney, but I'm not quite sold on him being a long term solution yet. I am liking this mainly because he's under team control until 2018 and probably won't cost much to obtain. Of course I've covered this in great detail, since the Dodgers started scouting him two weeks ago.

Dodgers scouts have recently increased presence with the Milwaukee Brewers, as well as there continued coverage of the Chicago Cubs, Rockies, Twins, Blue Jays, and Phillies.

That's right, those of you hoping for a trade involving guys like David Wright, Evan Longoria, Kendrys Morales, Allen Craig, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Howard, and Martin Prado, keep dreaming. I've heard there names floating around on the web, but none of these guys will be moved this summer.
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