The Dodgers are firmly in the market for starting pitching, but they are also inquiring on bolstering their corner outfield spots.
The Dodgers currently have just one full-time corner outfielder on their active roster after David Peralta and Jason Heyward became free agents. If the Dodgers are to trade for a corner outfielder, they can look no further than their division rivals down in San Diego.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune noted before season’s end that the Padres are looking to shed payroll after splurging on Xander Bogaerts last offseason and extending Manny Machado. With one year left on his remaining contract, Juan Soto could be shipped if the Padres want to afford their current spending habits.
In a turbulent season for San Diego, Soto was the Padres most valuable hitter, as he slashed .275/.410/.519 with a career high 35 home runs, 109 RBI, a 155 wRC+ and a 5.5 WAR in all 162 games played.
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report lists ten teams that could be in the running to trade for Soto, listing the Dodgers as the tenth most likely team to land the three time All Star.
The Dodgers have also inquired about former Mariners outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.
One name on the Dodgers' radar: Teoscar Hernández.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) November 9, 2023
They could use a corner OF and they've shown interest. Hernández was a 2021 All-Star and has at least 22 HR in each full season since becoming a regular in 2018. He slashed .258/.305/.435 in 160 games for Seattle in 2023.
Hernandez played a career high 160 games with Seattle last season, slashing .258/.305/.435 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, 29 doubles, a 105 wRC+ and a 1.8 fWAR. Hernandez struggled mightily at T-Mobile Park, as he hit just .217 with an 81 wRC+ in 79 games at home.
Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times provides an update on the General Manager meetings being held, noting that starting pitching is undoubtedly at the top of the Dodgers’ laundry list of needs this offseason. Harris notes that Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes has hinted at the possibility of seeing prospects Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas getting more playing time as outfielders:
“I think that it’s possible,” Gomes said of using Vargas and Busch in the outfield. “We’ll just see how the rest of it plays out and how they fit in. What they’ve done in the upper minors and their ability to move around the diamond is only beneficial.”