Last season it wasn’t an issue because at least one player was always hurt, but this season the Dodgers have four very good outfielders for three starting spots with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier.
That means at least one of them is on the bench each game and it also means Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times asked general manager Ned Colletti if he plans to trade an outfielder:
It’s a situation we’re going to have to deal with. But we’re always going to be one injury away from not having to deal with it. It gives everybody a chance to take a breath, get a day. Everybody likes to play, but I think it’s sometimes beneficial to take a day.
Complicating things is that the guys the Dodgers might actually want to trade–read: not Puig–all have huge contracts that teams likely won’t be lining up to take on. And of course the Dodgers probably care less about dumping big contracts than any other team, so having too many good outfielders is a nice problem to have. For now at least.
Oh, and their fifth outfielder, Scott Van Slyke, is making the minimum salary while producing a .974 OPS in a part-time role.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.