Corey Seager has the eighth highest trade value in baseball, opines Sports Illustrated’s Jonah Keri in his annual review of the top assets in the sport. In recent years, Seager was a popular trade target for teams attempting to sell veterans to the Dodgers. For example, their decision to keep Seager rather than trade him (and others) for former Phillies ace Cole Hamels already looks brilliant. Hamels was ranked 39th last year and fell out of the top 50 this year. While nobody would argue that Seager is better than Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (ranked 21), his superior contract situation and youth make him a superior long term bet. Top pitching prospect Julio Urias (43rd) also made the list.
Here’s more from the Dodgers:
- Japanese import Kenta Maeda made his Cactus League debut today, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. His performance today (he did well) is hardly relevant, but Maeda has already taken on an important role in the team’s success. With Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, and Brandon McCarthy set to miss chunks of the 2016 season, the Dodgers’ pitching depth will be tested. Maeda’s performance will help to determine how the favored Dodgers perform in a wide open NL West.
- Third baseman Justin Turner may return to game action as early as next week, writes Gurnick. Manager Dave Roberts would ease him back, using him as the designated hitter for a time. Turner had microfracture surgery over the offseason. A return to action next week would put him well ahead of the usual recovery timeline. Players like Carlos Beltran and Grady Sizemore had to ease back in to regular reps over a long period of time, although Turner’s specific situation may differ from theirs.
- One of Turner’s third base backups, Alex Guerrero, has been sidelined with a sore left knee, per Gurnick. The team does not believe the injury is serious, and they have not even ordered tests. The Dodgers have struggled to find Guerrero a regular role due to poor defensive chops at second base and an inconsistent bat. Should Turner and Guerrero both miss time, options to fill in at third include Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley.