Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How Many Players Equal Too Many Players?

Schumaker in the 2011 NLCS, squirrel not included in the deal (photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Reports tonight via various sources relay that the Dodgers have acquired Skip Schumaker from the Cardinals in exchange for 23 year old AA Shortstop Jake Lemmerman.  Schumaker, who will be 33 years old this spring, has become expendable due to the emergence of the Cardinals Daniel Descalso this past season.  Many remember Schumaker most from the NLCS “Rally Squirrel” from 2011.

The Schumaker addition has been reported to be backed enthusiastically by Dodger hitting coach Mark McGwire.  He’s a lefty bat that has fine numbers against right handed pitching (.295 BA/.357 OBP/,741 OPS), and most likely will serve the team as a platoon partner with Mark Ellis at second base.  Schumaker is under contract for one more year at a paltry (by Dodger standards)  $1.5 million per year.

In the past two days, the Dodgers have now added Zach Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Skip Schumaker to the 40 man roster that is so crowded now that someone of import will have to be removed.  Candidates for removal will be Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers, Alex Castellanos, Scott Van Slyke, Juan Uribe (please, please, please).

This team is now so loaded that when I hear more rumors of additional player acquisitions, I wonder where they are going to put them.  We have to assume that some players will be dealt though and that the Dodgers still are not done with roster shuffling.

Surplus of Starters
Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang appear to not have a position with this club.  With question marks on the health of Chad Billingsley and whether Hyung-Jin Ryu has the ability to break into a major league starting rotation next season, I believe at least one of those three will be with the Dodgers in Spring Training as a back-up plan.  If Bills and Ryu prove well enough to break camp with the team, look for that 6th starter to be dealt somewhere during the last weeks of of March.

The Third Base Conundrum
Juan Uribe is on the last year of his contract.  Do the Dodgers give him one last shot to see if Mark McGwire can remedy his hitting woes?  Do they instead deal one or two of their starters and possibly a middle infielder or two that won’t make the roster?

There is so much trade fodder on this roster now.  Whether it is desirable “trade fodder” is another question.  Is there really a market for guys like Van Slyke, Sellers or Herrera?  Will trade partners insist on strong arms like Tolleson?  Or an infielder with stealth speed, a humble and hardworking attitude with and a lot of upside like Dee Gordon?

Justin Sellers and Andy Van Slyke, Are the gone this winter? (May 2012 photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

There should be some third baseman targets out there.  Kyle Seager would be who I would want, or perhaps even Mike Olt who is a few years away.  The Dodgers just might overpay for such acquisitions and in the process free up some 40 man roster space.

That leaves one more thing to consider and that would be that this is an opportunity for the Dodgers to beef up some lower levels of their farm system in exchange for some of the veteran pitchers.

Then there is the Clayton Kershaw situation and the importance of completing a contract extension of the ace of the staff.

A lot of questions remain.  The moves aren’t over folks.

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