Farhan Zaidi: Dodgers Comfortable With Options For Left Field, But Will Be ‘Opportunistic’
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday traded Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney. Los Angeles is now without a clear option to plug in at second base and someone who started in left field with regularity.

Recent reports indicated Kendrick grew frustrated over his role with the Dodgers and his preference was to be traded. Although Kendrick saw plenty of time in left field, a byproduct of Chase Utley taking over at second base, he lost playing time to Andrew Toles.

It was Toles who made eight starts this postseason, compared to Kendrick’s three. Toles was in left field for Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club is comfortable with their options for left field next season but naturally didn’t rule out a potential acquisition, via Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register:

“Right now, we actually feel pretty good about the group of guys we have,” Zaidi said of the outfielders. “It’s not a position we are targeting right now in terms of bringing another guy in. But we’ll obviously keep our eyes open and be opportunistic if something comes up that would help our team.”

Beyond Toles, who may be the frontrunner to start after making a remarkable climb to his MLB debut this season, the Dodgers have Andre Ethier, Trayce Thompson and Scott Van Slyke coming off injury.

Ethier returned in September but wasn’t yet fully recovered from a fractured right tibia. The Dodgers expect him to be at full strength by Spring Training.

Thompson was a surprise contributor in 2016 before succumbing to a back injury in July. It was later revealed Thompson had multiple fractures, and he never managed to make a return.

Van Slyke was dogged by a wrist injury that kept him off the postseason roster in 2015. The 30-year-old underwent season-ending surgery in September to remove cysts and scar tissue from his right wrist.

In addition, Kiké Hernandez is also capable of playing left field. He logged 41 games there this season, making 22 starts, both of which exceed his totals for any other position in 2016. However, dependent on how the offseason unfolds, Hernandez may be needed at second or third base.