Dodgers are taking a look at Carlos Gonzalez to boost outfield

Howie Kendrick has played 49 games in left field for the Dodgers this season. That’s 49 games too many. The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Dodgers are taking a look at several outfielders including Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Heyman reports.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking hard for a bat as well as an arm, and seem to be in win-now mode. While they are expected to at least talk about Carlos Gonzalez, they are expecting the price to be quite high. Jay Bruce remains a possibility, as well, and probably a much more likely one.”

Dustin wrote about the logistics behind a Bruce acquisition last month, a possibility that may be more likely than a trade involving CarGo. Yet the long-time Rockie is at least part of the discussion for the Dodgers’ front office as they go so-called “big game hunting” this trade season.

The obvious concern with Gonzalez is his ability to hit outside of Coors Field. Although he is a much better defender than Bruce (a three-time Gold Glove winner), his career splits versus left-handed/right-handed pitching and home/away could spur the Dodgers to look elsewhere for outfield help especially if the price is too high.

  • RHP .306/.369/.564/.933
  • LHP .266/.303/.445/.749
  • Home .327/.384/.612/.996
  • Away .257/.313/.438/.750

Gonzalez has historically given the Dodgers a hard time over his career, hitting .306 with 19 home runs against them, but at Dodger Stadium (47 games) he has only hit .243/.337/.370/.707. Interestingly this season he has had trouble against the Dodgers and is only hitting .143 overall in nine games and .091 in six games at Dodger Stadium so far. On the road he is still hitting a decent .277/.335/.402/.737 with five home runs.

Currently, the 30-year old veteran is putting up some of his best numbers since 2010 when he captured the batting title. His .317/.366/.545/.910 line, 19 home runs and 124 wRC+ certainly should garner a return for the Rockies should they move him, but if they ask too much the Dodgers should probably turn their attention to one of the other outfielders on the market this trade season like Bruce, Josh Reddick, Melvin Upton Jr. or even Ryan Braun.

Gonzalez has one more year left on his contract, worth $20 million. Past injuries are also a concern, but he has had a lengthy healthy spurt and played in a career-high 153 games last season. He was not in Colorado’s lineup on Tuesday, finally getting a break after playing in 90 games thus far for the Rockies this year.

Yasiel Puig trade rumors may have supplanted the annual Andre Ethier trade rumor mill, but trading a starting outfielder when their outfield depth has been hit hard after injuries to the aforementioned Ethier, Trayce Thompson and Enrique Hernandez, doesn’t seem like a prudent approach. When you have to start Andrew Toles or Zach Walters, trading away one of your best starting outfielders doesn’t seem to be a viable option considering Puig’s very team-friendly contract.

The Dodgers need to upgrade left field, a position that has been unproductive all season. Their .232 batting average is second-worst amongst all left field corps in the National League. They are tenth in OBP (.302) and 13th in SLG (.371). Carl Crawford’s abysmal 30-game involvement at the start of the season didn’t help matters.

The question is what would it take to get CarGo? The Dodgers could eat most of his salary, lowering the cost a bit, an advantage the front office has in negotiations. Julio Urias and Corey Seager are the only players I see as untouchable, but Jose De Leon would be a steep price to pay for Gonzalez as well.

I asked my friend Bobby DeMuro, who covers the California League for Today’s Knuckleball and is the assistant editor at Purple Row, the Rockies’ SB Nation blog, what would it take to get CarGo.

Gonzalez may not end up in the cross hairs of Andrew Friedman’s big game gun, but he absolutely should be involved in the discussion as the trade season heats up.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.