Diamond Leung has an article suggesting that the Dodgers are expected to trade at least one of their many young arbitration eligible players soon. We have heard this time and time again, and it’s really starting to get old. This time may be different, especially after being bounced from the NLCS two years in a row. There are some glaring and obvious changes that must be addressed this winter. For now, let’s take a look at this long list of arbitration eligible players that might be dealt.
Andre Ethier- This guy was magical in 2009 plain and simple. There is no way he is traded, and no further discussion is necessary. Hopefully Ned can lock this guy up for years to come.
Matt Kemp- Perhaps the most underrated player in all of baseball. This guy was the best all around player for the team in 2009, and at the young age of 25, he hasn’t even reached his peak yet. Scary, I know. Not only will he not be traded, I would expect Colletti to be engaged in serious talks with Kemp regarding a long term deal.
Chad Billingsley- I am so tired of hearing the negativity spread towards Billingsley. The guy had a rough second half, no doubt. However, the guy is a future ace, mark my words. He is still very young and shined brilliantly in all of 2008 and the first half of 2009. He had a few rough outings and trading him would be an enormous mistake. It’s the mistake you would soon be able to throw in the Pedro Martinez, Paul Konerko, Edwin Jackson hat. You can count on seeing Bills in Dodger blue next season.
Jonathan Broxton- Here is a guy that is getting blamed for the entire NLCS collapse. He blew a critical game that could have changed the outcome of the series, that much is true. However, over an entire season he was the best closer in all of baseball, as the stats do not lie. He is and will be the most dominant closer in baseball for years to come, and he will be doing it in a Dodgers uniform.
George Sherrill- Obtaining Sherrill meant us sending top prospect Josh Bell to Baltimore. There is no way the Dodgers are giving up. The Dodgers are going to put up whatever dollar amount neccessary to keep Broxton and Sherrill in the bullpen.
Russell Martin- Ah poor Martin, this guy is my favorite player on the team. I love this guy’s heart and ambition. He had a terrible year offensively and continued on the downward spiral trend. There are hundreds of speculative reasons as to why he had the season he did. First it was because he put J. Martin on the back of his jersey, then it was because he quit tobacco, then it was because he lost too much weight, and the best reason of all is he got off PED’s. Alright so let me get this straight. If Martin takes the “J” off his back, starts chewing tobacco again, and adds 20 pounds Martin will hit at least .280 with 15 homers and steal 25 bags. Ridiculous. The first time a player has a rough season, people accuse other players of taking PED’s. So when you have a bad day at work should people say he must have gotten off the HGH? No, and none of the other reasons make sense either. Martin had a rough year, the guy is still very young and his potential is still sky high. It seems a lot of his obstacles could be mental not physical and therefore a change of scenery may do him some good. I definitely see a package of prospects being packaged around Martin and shipped to Toronto for Roy Halladay.
Hong-Chih Kuo- This guy is amazing. He has had so many arm surgeries I have lost count, yet he continues to perform extraordinarily well. Kuo ranks among the elite left handers in the game, and shows no signs of derailing. One thing to remember is he will always have a question mark next to him due to his past history of injuries. I think with Kuo’s value at its peak, and Sherrill and Elbert in the bullpen, Kuo becomes expendable in the right deal.
James Loney- This guy is full of swagger and possesses such a nice sweet swing. His defensive skills are among the league’s best and continues to get better each season offensively. The downside is he has no power, and I don’t see any emerging signs of the power swing ever showing up. His days could definitely be numbered, as he was already rumored in a deal to San Diego last summer. I fully expect Los Angeles to revisit talks with San Diego regarding Adrian Gonzalez and/or Heath Bell. What about Martin, Loney, Kuo, and a prospect or two for Gonzalez and Bell?