As Mike Petriello of MSTI suggests this afternoon, Dodgers will be coming and going with breakneck speed in the next couple of days and weeks.
One thing is sure: the Juan Uribe experiment is this close to ending. To be precise, he’s got a maximum of six days left, and maybe not even that.
If Los Angeles makes a trade or two during the All-Star break, the acquiring men need not be activated until play resumes next Friday. Doesn’t mean the Dodgers will wait that long for a corresponding move, but they can if they like.
And of course, if the first new player is a pitcher, L.A. certainly doesn’t have to adios a third baseman. Doesn’t mean they won’t anyway. Tell me the most obvious statement about winning the club can make to the remaining 24 players isn’t the designating for assignment of the least useful one.
Friday is Uribe’s deadline regardless, because Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are (cross your fingers) coming back for the July 13 game with San Diego at Dodger Stadium, and infielder though he may be, Uribe is the odd man out. Between Elian Herrera, Jerry Hairston and Adam Kennedy, there are three better options for third base, and both Herrera and Hairston can play the outfield.
Scott Van Slyke is the other likely man out, with a simple demotion to New Mexico (which is always easier to spell than Albuquerque).
I’ve wanted a veteran shortstop to complement Dee Gordon for a couple of weeks, and have mentioned it in the first Headley blog and on Twitter as well. Obviously with Gordon injured the need is greater now. I suggested Jason Bartlett and Jamey Carroll earlier, albeit without great enthusiasm, and the name Marco Scutaro has been bandied about recently.
The Rockies can say they won’t trade their current second baseman without a decent return, but in the end they’ll take what they can get. The Dodgers can have Scutaro here tomorrow if they want him, and they could do a whole lot worse. Wait Colorado out a couple weeks if need be, but Scutaro’s going to be traded and we don’t want him playing in San Francisco. At least, I don’t.
I’m not going to attempt to cover all the bases in one post, and there are plenty of other things L.A. can do to improve the club. But I want to go on record as saying that the Carlos Lee deal notwithstanding, I trust Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten to make the right, and in some cases, genuinely bold moves.
I’ll conclude with a pitch for Shane Victorino in left field. Like the Rocks, the Phils can posture, but Victorino’s getting traded shortly, and the Dodgers should reel him in. I don’t care about the .250ish batting average so far this season. Victorino will hit plenty in the second half, he’ll steal bases, drive in runs and play an inspired outfield. And he’s been more than around the block as far as October is concerned.
I’d bat him leadoff, with Scutaro behind him if he’s acquired too, or Mark Ellis if he isn’t. He’ll be a free agent come November. It’s a textbook rental for L.A., and a good one.
I’m assuming a lot, but with Victorino and Headley added, and with Ellis, Ethier and Kemp back full-time, even without a new shortstop, that’s a solid, attractive lineup, and one that would allow the team to carry James Loney at first the rest of the way, even if he doesn’t repeat his 2011 second half. And he just might.
So that’s my list for the moment. Headley most importantly, Victorino, with Scutaro a semi-distant third. Headley will cost legitimate players going south, and if the Dodgers can limit the take to one top pitching prospect, plus something else less painful, it’ll be worth it.
Whatever happens, whoever the team gets, Uribe’s gone by Friday. Period, exclamation point.