Posted on January 20, 2017 by Bryan Zarpentine
With time starting to run out before the start of spring training, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still without a full-time second baseman, and with trade talks with the Minnesota Twins regarding Brian Dozier still at an impasse, the Dodgers are reportedly expanding their search. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that beyond Dozier, the Dodgers have considered trading for Ian Kinsler, Logan Forsythe, and Jurickson Profar, in addition to exploring options on the free agent market that extend beyond re-signing veteran Chase Utley.
Los Angeles having interest in Kinsler and Forsythe is not exactly new, but the Dodgers could be ramping up interest in those players if they are unwilling to meet Minnesota’s price tag for Dozier. Acquiring Kinsler could be difficult, as the veteran would request a contract extension in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause. Forsythe, meanwhile, may be a more realistic option for the Dodgers, as the Tampa Bay Rays would certainly be open to trading him for the right price. However, the Rays are bound to drive a hard bargain for Forsythe, especially knowing how desperate the Dodgers are to add a second baseman.
Profar appears to be a new name on the Dodgers’ radar, as Rosenthal confirms that Los Angeles has spoken to the Rangers about him. Texas has shortstop Elvis Andrus signed through at least 2022 and Rougned Odor won’t reach free agency until after the 2020 season, and so the Rangers don’t exactly have room in their middle infield to fit Profar, which could make him expendable.
The Rangers plan to have Profar spend time at first base and in the DH Spot this season, although he’s obviously not a natural first baseman and one can’t help but think his talents would be wasted playing a position other than the middle infield. Texas would still be hesitant to trade Profar, knowing his skill set and ceiling, but it would make sense to consider trading him, depending on the price the Dodgers are willing to pay.
For the Dodgers, Profar could be both a short-term and long-term solution at second base, as he’s three years away from free agency. Rosenthal admits that a deal between the Dodgers and Rangers is unlikely at this point, as neither team has much time to consider such a big move with spring training right about the corner. But it’s a deal that could potentially make sense for all parties involved, including Profar.
Of course, if the Dodgers can swing a trade for Dozier, Kinsler, Forsythe, or Profar, there are options to consider on the free agent market. Utley has long been considered the obvious choice after being with the Dodgers since August 2015. However, Utley is 38 and has long been in decline, so he may not be the best option for a team in win-now mode. The Dodgers may also prefer a right-handed hitter, which could take Utley and several other free agents off the table.
So where does that leave the Dodgers? Well, back where they started. Among players on the current roster, Enrique Hernandez is penciled in as the second baseman, with recent Cuban signee Jose Miguel Fernandez likely to compete for time during spring training. The Dodgers can’t be satisfied with those candidates, and so it’s not surprising to hear that they are starting to turn over every stone possible in their search for a new second baseman before the start of the season.