Diving into the depths: Los Angeles Dodgers

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rotation
1. Hiroki Kuroda
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Chad Billingsley
4. Vicente Padilla
5. James McDonald
6. Eric Stults
7. Scott Elbert
8. Russ Ortiz
9. Charlie Haeger
9. Josh Lindblom
10. Josh Towers
11. John Ely
12. Chris Withrow
13. James Adkins
It was a certainty that the Dodgers would add a fourth starter, and they got that done by re-signing Padilla. Now it just remains to be seen whether they’ll also pick up a No. 5. I think McDonald would be just fine in that role, but he could be as valuable while spending another year in the pen. The alternatives are plentiful, but there aren’t really any standouts. I prefer Elbert in the pen.
Bullpen
1. Jonathan Broxton
2. George Sherrill
3. Ramon Troncoso
4. Hong-Chih Kuo
5. Ronald Belisario
6. James McDonald
7. Scott Elbert
8. Cory Wade
9. Justin Miller
10. Eric Stults
11. Brent Leach
12. Luis Ayala
13. Scott Dohmann
14. Carlos Monaterios
15. Josh Lindblom
16. Juan Perez
17. Travis Schlichting
18. Javy Guerra
19. Armando Zerpa
20. Kenley Jansen
The bullpen will be deep regardless, but extremely so if the Dodgers do ink a fifth starter and let McDonald and Elbert battle it out for relief spots. Broxton, Sherrill, Troncoso, Kuo, Belisario and McDonald all had ERAs of 3.00 or better last year (McDonald was at 4.00 overall, but he came in at 2.72 in his 49 2/3 innings out of the pen).


Catcher
1. Russell Martin
2. A.J. Ellis
3. Lucas May
First base
1. James Loney
2. Casey Blake
3. Doug Mientkiewicz
4. John Lindsey
Second base
1. Blake DeWitt
2. Jamey Carroll
3. Nick Green
4. Argenis Reyes
Third base
1. Casey Blake
2. Blake DeWitt
3. Jamey Carroll
4. Nick Green
5. Angel Berroa
Shortstop
1. Rafael Furcal
2. Ivan DeJesus
3. Nick Green
4. Chin-Lung Hu
DeWitt is supposed to get a chance to be the full-time second baseman, but it’d make sense to have Carroll start over him against lefties. Green will probably have the edge on the other utility slot, given that the Dodgers don’t seem to be as high on Hu as they once were. DeJesus won’t be a candidate for a utility role, but he just might take over as the starting shortstop if anything happens to Furcal.
Left field
1. Manny Ramirez
2. Xavier Paul
3. Jason Repko
4. Michael Restovich
Center field
1. Matt Kemp
2. Jason Repko
3. Xavier Paul
4. Brian Barton
Right field
1. Andre Ethier
2. Xavier Paul
3. Jason Repko
4. Michael Restovich
If the Dodgers add another bat, it will probably be a veteran fourth outfielder. They’d be OK with Repko and Paul in reserve, but odds are that someone will fall into their price range. That’d set it up so that Repko and Paul would battle for one spot. Paul is the fantasy sleeper of the two, but the Dodgers won’t want to keep him in the majors unless they know they’ll be able to find him at-bats.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.