Los Angeles Dodgers need to step away from retread trade rumors

How about Chris Johnson trading his rainbow uni for the blue and white of the Dodgers? (Troy Taormina/US Presswire )

The Los Angeles Dodgers resemble an Army M.A.S.H. unit more than a professional baseball team. Although all-everything Matt Kemp is the most notable Dodger on the medical shelf, he is far from the only one.

The Dodgers are like the walking wounded right now with these health challenges:

As a result of these injuries, the Dodgers have to shuffle lineups more than a poker deal in Las Vegas. This has translated to a back-to-earth record of 9-10 since May 14. The rest of the baseball world is catching up with the previously lights-out Dodgers.

What’s the team to do in an effort to stop the bleeding? How do the Dodgers right the ship and get back to their winning ways? One way is to never play the Milwaukee Brewers again! Milwaukee embarrassed the Dodgers recently by spanking them in a four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium.

Other than asking Commissioner Bud Selig to cancel future games against the Brewers, the Dodgers are doing their best Adele impression with “Rumor Has It.” Rumor wires all over baseball are going crazy with talk of an impending acquisition by the Dodgers to get some batting help.
Who are the leading candidates to bring their suitcases to Los Angeles in the coming weeks?

Sorry about that temporary delay in my article. I was busy yawning over the thought of the Dodgers taking on a bunch of salary and giving away good prospects for two aging veterans — one who makes Uribe look skinny (Lee) and the other a guy who has disabled list written all over him (Youkilis).

Let’s start with Lee. He’s too fat to play anywhere but first base (or DH in interleague games). So, that means a trade for Lee will put him at first and will either move James Loney to Houston or to the bench.

The Astros probably wouldn’t want Loney in a trade for Lee, so it would more likely mean that the Dodgers would be parting with two or three young prospects. Either way, why don’t we compare Loney and Lee in 2012 and see how much of an advantage this trade would make:

  • Lee is hitting .297 this season with four homers and 23 RBIs. His home run totals have also decreased each year since 2007. In other words, Lee’s weight is going north and his power is going south.
  • Loney is hitting .248 with two homers and 16 RBIs.

There is obviously a small advantage there in numbers with Lee, but is it enough to warrant giving up promising young prospects? I think not.

How about Youkilis? He’s got one of the coolest facial hair arranges in MLB, but I’m not sure if he’s worthy of a trade. Youkilis would be better served at first base because he’s not as mobile as a 33-year-old third baseman. We already know Loney’s stats, so here is what Youkilis has done for the Boston Red Sox this season:

  •  Youkilis is hitting .245 with four homers and 12 RBIs this season. His home run totals have also decreased each year since 2008. In other words, Youkilis may be rocking the cool facial hair and shiny dome, but his bat isn’t what it used to be.

If the Dodgers are going to try to get some offensive help in a trade before July 31 at third base, I say (as I slip on my general manager’s hat!) why not try to pry a legitimate player away from a “seller’s” team? Here are a few guys I would inquire about if I were the toupee-wearing Ned Colletti:

  • Chris Johnson, Houston – The Astros are battling for respectability, but they’re still a rebuilding team. The 27-year-old Johnson is hitting .293 for the Astros with five homers and 26 RBIs.
  • Chase Headley, San Diego – The Padres are on a slow, steady ride to the NL West cellar, so Headley might be a guy the Dodgers could pry away. Granted, it’s tough to get your division rival to trade with you, but it’s not impossible. Headley is hitting .253 with seven homers and 23 RBIs this season for a horrible Padres team.
  • Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh – The Pirates are once again bound to watch the playoffs from the stands, so why not make a call about Alvarez if you’re Colletti? Alvarez is only hitting .194 this season, but has hit eight homers and has driven in 25 runs.


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