One of the Dodgers biggest needs coming into the winter is of course second base. The Dodgers started the 2018 season with Logan Forsythe tabbed to be their everyday man at the keystone. Unfortunately Logan was terrible and the Dodgers eventually traded him to the Twins for Brian Dozier who turned out to be even worse. Go figure right?
The Dodgers used Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor at second base the rest of the season, with Max Muncy also getting some reps there. None of them seem to be long term solutions. Muncy is better suited for first base and has limited experience at second base. Hernandez can play second adequately but is better served as the super utility player the Dodgers love him to be. Taylor is better served in centerfield, or in the outfield in general.
The Dodgers are more than likely going to have to look outside of the organization for help. They’ll have some added payroll flexibility and I believe there is one guy who could be a fit. Free agent DJ LeMahieu who has spent almost his entire career playing for the Colorado Rockies is available and I think would be a good acquisition for the Dodgers.
LeMahieu was originally drafted by the Cubs, but ended up being traded to Colorado in 2011. LeMahieu is a former batting champion that has a career .298/.350/.406 line with 49 home runs and 278 walks. LeMahieu’s numbers were a bit down this year. Over 581 plate appearances he slashed .276/.321/.428 with 15 home runs and 62 runs driven in. Declining walk rates could be a concern, as he walked only 37 times.
However overall LeMahieu has a lot of the skills the Dodgers could use in 2019. His on-base and contact skills are good. He’s had only one season where he struck out over 100 times (107 in 2015) and whiffed just 82 times in his 581 plate appearances in 2018. In this age of strikeouts that’s pretty darn good. LeMahieu’s defensive numbers are quite good as well. He’s primarily played second base but has seen time at third base too. He’s logged 41 games there, so he could spot there in a pinch.
LeMahieu the 30-year old right handed hitter puts the ball in play. He makes contact, gets on-base and plays solid defense. He’s batting .306 when leading off an inning. You all know what I am thinking here. He could be a good lead-off hitter for the Dodgers. He also could come fairly cheap as he was earning just 8.5 million dollars in Denver in 2018. The market for second baseman is pretty thin this fall. LeMahieu may be the best option they can get.