After parting with Don Mattingly on Oct. 22, the Los Angeles Dodgers front office kept busy with a thorough search that ran four weeks to find Mattingly’s replacement.
Their exhaustive process ended on Monday with Dave Roberts becoming the club’s youngest full-time manager since 1954 and their first minority skipper.
With the managerial vacancy filled, the Dodgers can now turn their attention to roster needs as the Winter Meetings are less than two weeks away.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Carl Crawford is said to be available, and Andre Ethier and Puig are believed to be possible trade candidates:
Many suspect Yasiel Puig could become available, but only if someone offers a top young starter, something that isn’t likely to happen considering his abysmal, injury-wracked 2015 season. Others say Carl Crawford is available and also wouldn’t be shocked if Andre Ethier becomes available, too.
An oblique injury forced Crawford to the 60-day disabled list and limited him to 69 games last season after a successful 2014 campaign in which he hit .300/.339/.429 with eight home runs, 14 doubles, 46 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.
However, Crawford’s production dropped to .286/.328/.414 in 2015, and his strikeout rate jumped from 14.9 percent to 21.2 percent last season.
A selling point for Crawford had been his production in the 2013 and 2014 postseasons, but he went just 1-for-12 in the 2015 National League Divisional Series.
Crawford is owed $20.75 million next season and $21 million in 2017. His contract includes a clause that permits Crawford to block a trade to two clubs. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi stated two weeks ago Ethier remains part of the club’s plans moving forward.
Ethier is coming off a career season in which he hit .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs, 20 doubles, 53 RBIs, a .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+. He’s due $18 million next season and $17.5 million in 2017.
Ethier’s contract includes a $17.5 million club option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout. On April 21, he will reach 10 full years of Major-League service time, with the last five seasons spent with the Dodgers.
At that point he’ll become a 10-and-5 player and hold the right to refuse any trade. The Dodgers were said to have held preliminary trade talks to send an everyday outfielder to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for a starting pitcher.