Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: Los Angeles Dodgers: 10 Sluggers Who Could Replace Manny Ramirez in Their Lineup

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Los Angeles Dodgers: 10 Sluggers Who Could Replace Manny Ramirez in Their Lineup

I know this is a Giants blog, but my BR assignment was to write on the Dodgers. That's the way it is in the professional word, and I will adhere to it. Here is the article. Think of it like an extended NL West preview.

The Mannywood era of Dodger baseball came to a close in 2010. Now that the slugger has moved on from the City of Angels, the hunt is on to replace him.

Dipping below 700 total runs scored in 2010 for the first time since 2005, the Dodgers need to improve their offense if they plan on climbing to the top of the National League West once again. Even with Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, they were a team that was 27th in baseball in home runs at 120 and 24th in RBIs at 621.

For the Dodgers to succeed in 2011, they will need some help from Ned Colletti to improve the offense. Can he lure Princewood to Los Angeles?

Here are 10 potential sluggers who can make Mannywood a thing of the past at Chavez Ravine in 2011.

1. Jermaine Dye

In 2009, Jermaine Dye proved that he still had something left in the gas tank. Now, at age 36, he could return to baseball and help the Dodgers in a similar fashion to what Manny Ramirez did.

Dye hit .250 with 27 home runs, 81 RBI and a .340 OBP in 2009. Like Ramirez, Dye could be a force in the middle of the lineup.

Dye probably will not post his 2009 numbers, but he is another professional bat with playoff experience who can get on base.

His defense may be an issue. He more than likely lost a step or two, but he cannot be any worse than Manny was in the outfield.

Although he is not the best slugger out there, Dye would be the easiest to obtain. Since he is still a free agent and does not have to be traded for, Dye could be had without breaking up the Dodgers' solid starting pitching staff.

2. Prince Fielder

Can Princewood be a reality at Chavez Ravine?

For a couple years now, Prince Fielder's name was tossed around as a potential trade target. If the Brewers fall out of the race, which is less likely now that they traded for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, Fielder could be an option in 2011 for the Dodgers, especially since it is a contract year for him.

Fielder can flat-out hit. In 2010, he mashed 32 home runs with 83 RBI. He also gets on base, owning a career .385 OBP. He would dramatically change the look of the Dodgers' lineup and serve as a nice tandem with Kemp and Ethier.

Like Manny Ramirez, Fielder can be a defensive liability. His 2010 UZR was -7.4, and his size could hinder his range at first base.

Two problems will make this deal unlikely, however. One, the Brewers expect to compete in 2011, as shown by the Greinke trade, and two, the finances might still be a bit tight with the McCourt divorce.

3. Jose Bautista

One hit wonder or legitimate power threat? Call it what you want, but it is not easy to hit 54 home runs in a major league season.

Depending on Jose Bautista's arbitration case, he could become available, especially if he wins his case. If that happens, the Blue Jays would have to pay lots of money, so they might want to unload him.

If the Dodgers trade for Bautista to replace Manny Ramirez, their lineup would look better -- if 2010 was not a fluke. In 2010, Bautista hit 54 home runs and had 120 RBIs, and he could be the replacement the Dodgers are looking for.
One major problem that could hamper the Dodgers' chances of getting Bautista is that the Jays will want good talent in return for him. It is likely they would want to pry Billingsley or Kershaw away from the Dodgers, something it does not seem like the Dodgers want to do.

 4. Justin Upton

 Justin Upton is a young power hitter who is a force at the plate. If the Dodgers could somehow pry him from the Diamondbacks, a National League West title might be in the cards for the boys in blue.

Upton is signed by the Diamondbacks through 2015 and figures to be a big part of their offense, but for a pitching-starved team like the D-backs, they might have to listen to offers for quality pitching, something the Dodgers have.

Although Upton hit only .273 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs, he is only 23 years old and will only get better. He has the tools to be a star in the major leagues and maybe a winning atmosphere will get him going.

5. Derek Lee

The Orioles recently signed Derrek Lee to a one-year, $7.25 million contract. However, the Orioles may want to unload him midseason if they fall out of the race, which might happen since they are in the same division as the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

Currently, James Loney plays Lee's first base position, but Lee might still be a fit for the Dodgers. If Loney can move to the outfield (he has played three career games in right field), the Dodgers can put both potent bats in the lineup.

In 2010, Lee hit .269, with 19 home runs and 80 RBIs. He may not be able to hit 40 home runs anymore, but he can still be a threat to leave the yard.


More to come.

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