It’s been nice knowing you. Au revoir. Adios. No matter what language you say it in, “Goodbye” means farewell, and the 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers are on a slippery slope to last place in the National League West.
Their chances are gone. However, hope isn’t the only thing that’s gone in Los Angeles.
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The Veteran Shuttle is about to board in Los Angeles, destination unknown.
If you’re the emotional sort, grab a box of Kleenex and get ready to dab your tears as the Dodgers conduct a swap meet (fire sale sounds so depressing) of players who have some value, but who aren’t in the future plans in Los Angeles:
Hiroki Kuroda – Why, you might ask, would teams be interested in a pitcher who has only won five games and has lost nine? Because he has an ERA of 3.10 and almost always goes into the sixth or seventh inning of games he starts. Kuroda has a career ERA of 3.52 with the Dodgers, and he has started 31 games in two of his three seasons. Kuroda will almost certainly be gone before July 31.
Jamey Carroll – Carroll is pushing 40, but he wanted to continue playing in part to win a championship. Since that isn’t happening in Los Angeles, Carroll deserves a shot to go out on a winner. Carroll is the ultimate team player who shows up every day ready to give it his all. He will play anywhere on the field and will bat anywhere in the lineup. Carroll is hitting .301 this season and has a respectable on-base percentage of .372. Contenders like St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston and San Francisco could use Carroll’s veteran leadership and work ethic. Don’t look for Carroll to be gone, but don’t count it out.
Casey Blake – Blake is almost 38 years old and has battled injuries this season, but he would be a nice DH option or pinch-hitter for an American League contender. Blake still has some home-run pop left in his bat (four homers in 42 games this season), but he is the type of player who is now better suited for spot at-bats without having to subject his body to playing the field. If the Dodgers do manage to trade Blake, don’t look for much in return except for a couple of low-level minor leaguers.
James Loney – It probably won’t happen, but the Dodgers would part with Loney for the right offer. He started the season slower than molasses in the Arctic, but has brought his average up to .276. The problem is that in 81 games, Loney has only produced four home runs and 28 RBIs. Loney needs a change of scenery and the Dodgers need a fresh start at first base. Moving Loney would allow the Dodgers to bring Jerry Sands back up and put him at first. The trade would also bring the Dodgers several decent young players to help restock the farm system.
Trade for one, get one free – Jonathan Broxton and Rod Barajas – If a contender will take a chance on Broxton and his bulging gut, the Dodgers should also throw in Barajas for free. Broxton was in the position to help the Dodgers get him out of Los Angeles before he had another elbow flare-up last week. Barajas is worthless and needs to go somewhere else so he can ride out the season on someone else’s disabled list.