SAN DIEGO -- While most of the Dodgers trade rumors have revolved around Matt Kemp at these winter meetings, the latest rumor floating around the Manchester Grand Hyatt involves Dee Gordon.
The second baseman made the All-Star team and led the majors in triples (12), stolen bases (64) and infield hits (62) and hit .289/.326/.378, a .312 wOBA with a 101 OPS+ and 101 wRC+ in his first season at a new position in 2014. The Dodgers have reportedly made it known they are willing to listen for offers for the former shortstop, per both Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
#Dodgers have let teams know open to moving Dee Gordon. New front office likes OBP, not Gordon’s forte— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2014
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi denied those reports on Tuesday night.
"We are not dangling him," Zaidi said. "He is our second baseman."
While Gordon did have by far his best major league season in 2014, there were some concerns, especially with how he ended the year. After the All-Star break he hit .284/.300/.348 with four walks and 47 strikeouts in 57 games.
Manager Don Mattingly chalked up Gordon's second-half slide to the fatigue of playing what was his first full major league season, and at the same time Mattingly had high hopes for his leadoff hitter going forward.
"If I'm guessing, I think Dee got worn down a little bit as the season wore on mentally," Mattingly said. "I think this season is going to be great for Dee. I think there is more to come. There are better days ahead, on-base wise, hitting-wise, and I think his swing still has more in it."
Moving Gordon in theory would open up second base for Alex Guerrero, who has three years and $14 million remaining on his contract and can't be sent to the minors without his consent. Guerrero played shortstop in Cuba but was expected to play second base in the majors, though he lost out to Gordon for the second base job in spring training.
Guerrero was tried in Triple-A Albuquerque at third base and shortstop, and even in left field, attempting to give him more utility as a bench player to make the roster. But that was with Gordon at second base. If the position is open, Guerrero could slot in at what is likely his best defensive position, and where his bat would definitely play.
Alternatively, the Dodgers do have Darwin Barney, a superior defensive player and former Gold Glove Award winner at second base, signed for 2015, with Justin Turner able to slot in as well as needed.
But even if the Dodgers were willing to listen to offers for Gordon doesn't mean a deal is close, or even likely. After all, it takes two to tango.
Enter the Marlins:
Gordon is eligible for salary arbitration this offseason as a Super Two player, among the top 22 percent of players in service time with between two and three years of service, and won't be a free agent until after 2018.
"He's a cost-controlled All-Star second baseman that teams would have for four more years. He's a tremendous player," Zaidi said. "Anybody like that, teams are going to ask us about. We can't control that."