At the very least, you would hope the Dodgers would package 1-2 of their high-profile younger players/prospects together for two of the following three holes: a #1 starter, a big bat and a quality shortstop. But trading Kemp for an average (albeit solid) shortstop, is just wrong. Hopefully this is just a rumor, but time will tell. You just never know with Ned.
Now those would be some moves. In my opinion, help at shortstop is the clear priority with Furcal likely done for the season. You can never argue with adding a #1 starter to your pitching staff, but that’s not where the Dodgers really need the help. The Dodgers are currently leading the NL with a 3.70 ERA. Clearly the pitching staff is producing, and is on the upswing with Kuroda coming back and Kershaw waiting in the wings in the minors.
What the Dodgers desperately, desperately need is hitting (Jason Bay and Matt Holliday are at the top of my list). As I mentioned yesterday, there is no way the Dodgers are going to advance in the playoffs without some big bats producing for the team. If you’re not going to hit home runs (the Dodgers are ranked 15 out of 16 NL teams with just 60 HRs), then you need clutch hitting, and that’s something this team does not do well either. To date, they’ve generated 330 RBI, placing them a meager 14 out of 16 teams. I’m not saying that I don’t want Sabathia on the Dodgers, but picking up an ace is going to mean absolutely nothing without having the run support behind him.
As for “the kids,” the Dodgers need to get better, and not all of their young players are going to turn into All-Stars. Ned has shown a proficiency in identifying the best players to keep and the ones to move. Right now, I think LaRoche could be a great bargaining chip. We have depth at 3B with DeWitt and Nomar, and Loney is really showing some fantastic hustle and pop with the bat, making the stock of the first baseman a lot higher than Andy’s in my opinion. Now is the time to make a move, and Ned, this is your chance to save your job. Let’s make it happen.