On Opening Day 2018, these positions in the lineup will be manned by the following players (barring injury):
C – Austin Barnes – As good or better than Yasmani NOW.
1B – Cody Bellinger – Gold Glove and a Superstar
2B – Logan Forsythe – Look for a huge year from him
SS – Corey Seager – The only concern is health. If healthy, he is a beast!
3B – Justin Turner – More of the same.
CF – Chris Taylor – Best CF on the roster and he will get better.
RF – Yasiel Puig – The fact that he has room for improvement is incredible.
Left field is the only position that is unsettled. Now, of course some of those players could be traded, but I do not think it is likely. I think the major question is “Who’s in LF?” That is the million, maybe $295 million dollar question.
There is no shortage of prospects on the roster for the position: Kike Hernandez, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson (if he stays on the roster… and he may not). And then… there are players who could be signed as free agents or traded for: Giancarlo Stanton, Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk, JD Martinez, Marcel Ozuna, among others.
My own personal opinion is that there is very little chance JD Martinez will become a Dodger because of the extremely high cost (like $150 million) and the fact that he is a hack in the outfield. The odds are also very slim that Giancarlo Stanton becomes a Dodger because of the astronomically high cost and length of his contract. Now, if the Marlins were to include $50 million, that might be another story, but that seems unlikely.
What seems likely to me is that the Giants or Cardinals get Stanton and if the Cards do, they may need to add a LH bat in the outfield. This may be one of those cases whereby players change teams and do better in another part of the country. How about Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson for Piscotty or Grichuk?
Marcel Ozuna would be nice and just what the Dodgers need: A RH power bat, but the price would be high. Something like Verdugo, Alvarez and May for him. Actually, this could be the best deal… even though it is an overpay. Ozuna will cost the Marlins a lot of money and the Dodgers can control him for two more years. He would slot perfectly at #5 behind Cody Bellinger.
Trayce Thompson is likely gone… one way or another. Kike and Toles are perfect extra outfielders. Verdugo and Pederson are the odd men out.. along with Yasmani Grandal if a trade partner who wants to overpay is found.
I cannot see where Adrian Gonzalez fits in next year. No way. No how. I just don’t know how it will all go down, but I can’t see him on the team. A-Gon made no sense to me. The Ozuna deal makes the most sense to me. Best case scenario:
- Taylor CF
- Seager SS
- Turner 3B
- Bellinger 1B
- Ozuna LF
- Puig RF
- Forsythe 2B
- Barnes C
Subs: Culberson, Toles, Hernandez, Farmer, Locastro
That is a strongly RH lineup, but Puig hit them very well last year and Forsythe hit them well in the past.Barnes had reverse splits. Trading Pederson, Grandal and Verdugo is a flawed scenario, but one to consider.