Dodgers Trade Rumors: Would You Take J.D. Martinez Over Chris Taylor?

Chris Taylor

The trade deadline is just a couple of weeks away and we’re well on our way to hearing way too many rumors about who the Dodgers might be interested in picking up to bolster their roster for the stretch drive and the playoffs. One of the most interesting rumors is the Dodgers/Tigers connection.

The Tigers are having a dreadful season and have several players that have been tied to the Dodgers. The Justin Verlander rumor has been swirling for a while now. Reliever Justin Wilson would be a great pick-up, but the player that piques my attention the most is outfielder J.D. Martinez.

Let’s get one thing straight. It’s extremely unlikely that the Dodgers will make any kind of deal with the Tigers for any of their available players. The front office has not only show an unwillingness to acquire expensive veterans via trade, but they usually only trade with their former clubs. If somehow Verlander or Martinez were sent to the A’s or suddenly started wearing a little stingray with a sunshine sparkle on their uniforms then I could believe that there was a possibility of them coming to the Dodgers.

About Verlander, I don’t want him. He’s old with a history of injuries over the last few years and he’s in decline. He’s also expensive. But the main reason I don’t care for him is because he’s not pitching well this year. His career seems to be winding down and I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be pitching. He’s had a long and successful career, but you know father time gets everyone at some point.

What about J.D. Martinez? He’s a great hitter without question, but where would he fit into the Dodger lineup? The problem here is that Martinez is a corner outfielder. Despite what some people think, Yasiel Puig isn’t going anywhere. Neither is center fielder Joc Pederson. So with Puig and Joc entrenched in their respective positions, the only other spot for Martinez to fit would be in left field. Especially since Martinez doesn’t play center.

The Dodgers have had problems in left field. Andrew Toles suffered a season ending injury and Andre Ethier hasn’t played all year because of a bad back. Putting Chris Taylor in left field was more because they didn’t really have anyone else to put there then an experiment.

With little to no other options (you didn’t really want to see Scott Van Slyke there anyways, come on tell the truth) The Dodgers stuck Taylor in left and hoped for the best. Things worked out pretty well for the Dodgers because Taylor is having a career year and playing unbelievably well. The guy has worked hard and elevated his game. He’s been terrific and it would be really hard to bump him from the starting lineup and put him on the bench because there’s no other spot for him.

Then again Martinez is a really good hitter and having him in the lineup would make us drool. That might put the Dodgers over the top in October. But you want to keep Taylor in the lineup? Fair enough. He’s been awesome no doubt. Perhaps we could move Taylor to second base and put Martinez in left. The only problem is that pushes Logan Forsythe to the bench and he’s been hitting really well of late too. Darn it. This is what I like to call a quality problem. The Dodgers have too many great hitters this season.

The question becomes would Martinez really be that much of an upgrade over Taylor? We would have to compare their numbers this season to determine that, so let’s do it.

Martinez-.298/.379/.602 (57 for 191) 14 home runs 32 RBI-.981 OPS- 157 OPS+

Man just look at those numbers. Martinez has a lot of power, slugging 14 home runs and 28 extra-base hits. That means about half of his hits have been for extra bases. Not only that, but he has good on-base skills. He does strike out a lot, but most power hitters do. He comes in with a 157 OPS+ which is very good. He’s a productive hitter and any team would be happy to have him in their lineup.

Taylor – .289/.370/.482 (72 for 249) 10 home runs 38 RBI – .852 OPS – 124 OPS+

Yeah Martinez is good, but Taylor’s numbers are almost just as good. Taylor has more hits, and almost as many home runs as Martinez. He walks more, is more versatile and runs the bases better. If we delve a little deeper we see that Martinez out performs Taylor (159 wRC+ to 129 wRC+) however Taylor’s line drive percentage is better (27.7% to Martinez’s (21.1%). Taylor has struck out more than Martinez, but he’s more of a line drive in the gaps type of a hitter while Martinez is more of a pure power guy.

Then there’s that versatility thing. Martinez can only play two positions while Taylor plays all over the diamond. Taylor is definitely the better defender by a large margin. Martinez does come with some injury baggage as he had a foot injury in the beginning of the season.

The money shouldn’t matter since the Dodgers are the riches team in baseball but Martinez is making 11.5 million dollars this season and would be a free agent this winter. He would be a rental. Would the Tigers require the Dodgers to take Verlander’s contract in order to get Martinez? What would the Tigers want in return via prospects? Would you move Alex Verdugo? Or perhaps Walker Buehler to get him?

Martinez is a good hitter but could come with an expensive price tag via prospects and other bad contracts. Taylor has been great and there would only be one open position for Martinez. There is a worry that Taylor could turn back into a pumpkin but so far it’s not looking like that. The Dodgers are winning and have the best record in baseball. I’m a big supporter of chemistry. I think if it aint’ broken then don’t fix it?

What’s your take?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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50 thoughts on “Dodgers Trade Rumors: Would You Take J.D. Martinez Over Chris Taylor?

  1. Apples and oranges. Martinez is an outfielder and we have several of those. Taylor is an infielder and we happen to have a need at second base. Utley is gone. Forsythe isn’t cutting it and he’s a lame duck, gone in October. Kike is a jack of all trades. Plus Martinez is a rental, gone in October or resigned for a hefty sum of cash. Taylor is very good and still inexpensive. Silly question. Trade for Martinez for 3 months if you want, but Taylor stays.

    1. Question Jonah, how do you figure Forsythe is a lame duck and gone in October? Forsythe has another year on his contract after this year, one of the main reasons FAZ traded for him. He has been hitting better this month and is a pretty good fielder. I think you are grossly under rating the guy. Utley will be here until the end of the year unless he gets injured or dies. The Dodgers FO values his leadership and his mentoring. Will he get a lot of chances? Remains to be seen. He got a PH single last night. Kike is a jack of all trades, but couldn’t hit my dead grandmother unless she was LH. He has value, but only because he plays a lot of positions. Utley plays 3B, 1B and 2B. Taylor can play LF, CF, SS and 2nd. I say don’t mess with success at this point. People forget this is only the non waiver deadline. You can get players until the end of August after they clear waivers and the Dodgers have used that before. After Sept 1st, rosters are stabilized. I do not trade anything of real value like FAZ did last year for a rental. If I am getting a genuine up-grade and someone under team control for more than a couple of months, maybe. Another thing Scott, they have some guys doing really well in the minors. They might end up looking down there first.

        1. First off I never step on my crank and I knew it was an option year. I also know that FAZ is not very likely to trade him. Why would the Sox want him? He is mainly a 2nd baseman. They want a 3B more than someone like Forsythe, and the rumor is their target is Frazier. The crank stepping here is you dreaming that FAZ will do something that makes sense to the fan base.

      1. And it is a good thing that Kike can hit lefties, since we have a couple of players, that don’t hit lefties well at all.

        And those players are hitting lefties, as well as Kike, is hitting righties!

        And I don’t know for sure, that they will pick up Forsythe’s option, unless Forsythe starts hitting righties better, because he is still hitting at the Mendoza line, against righties, and he hasn’t provided much power at all this year.

        Taylor has just been a much better player then Forsythe, and not only has Taylor hit well, he has hit with power, and his speed makes a difference on defense, and on the bases.

        If they pick up Forsythes option, it would be more about depth, then anything else.

        1. Or, they think he’s a better 2B than anyone else in the organization or on the market.

          It will be a godsend if Calhoun can find a way to be adequate at second, his bat is really an asset.

          1. Bluto

            I am not a DH person, but I wish we had the DH, so we could keep Calhoun on the major league, team.

            Because he is such a good hitter!

            Calhoun is the best hitter, on our AAA team, and his bat is ready for the majors.

  2. Scott

    I don’t want to add another player from the American League, that would come over here, to face all new pitchers, because you just never know, if they will catch on fast, and make a difference, like what happened with Reddick.

    But have you took a look at Forsythe’s split, against righties?

    He is was only hitting 183 against righties, before last night’s game.

    And he has not supplied much power, against righties, and over all.

    Joc came back later then Forsythe from the DL and he started hitting much quicker, then Forsythe did.

    Forsythe has really good numbers against lefties, but like I said, his numbers against righties, are not that good at all.

    If we didn’t have a place in left for Taylor to play, I would put Taylor at second, and Logan would go on the bench for me.

    1. Depends on the player. There are guys over there who have played in the NL, and Martinez is one of them. He was with the Giants for a while. Forsythe is not generally considered a power hitter, more of a contact bat, and I give him a little slack since he spent a lot of time on the DL. But he had better play his butt off the next 70 games.

          1. It probably will. I’ve noticed he’s a very patient hitter. He’s been playing very well lately and I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

          2. Bluto

            I don’t know, but he strikes out a lot, for a guy, that has not hit with much power.

            But I think Logan is a solid defensively, but he does tend to get hurt a lot, it seems.

        1. Yes he did, and the year before that he hit 17, but that does not make him a power hitter. Pryor to the last 2 years with the Rays, his most was 6 which he did 3 times. He has 58 HR’s over his career which means he hits less than 10 a year, sorry, that does not qualify him as a power hitter. I would also make a bet that they pick up Forsythe’s option. That way Taylor can step into the super utility job. Utley will be gone. I think, and this is just me, the Dodgers when they made the trade were looking at his success the last 3 years, and remember he has only been a regular for the last 2 years, so that’s what they went on. He, over the last 3 season is hitting .257 against RH pitching and actually has more HR off righty’s than lefty’s. You base trades on total history, not just 1 year.

          1. Michael

            Sorry the previous years, that you brought up, Logan was not playing everyday, so those previous years, don’t mean that much!

            And he was playing for the Padres, it is harder to hit a ball out,in San Diego!

            And twenty HRs is very good, for a second base man!

            And I never said he was a power hitter.

            I said he wasn’t hitting for much power, considering how much, he has struck out!

            He hasn’t hit a lot of doubles either!

            If they pick up Logan’s option it will be more for depth, unless he can bring his numbers up, in the second half.

            And if it was today, Taylor would be the second baseman, if there wasn’t a space in left.

            Logan doesn’t have speed like Taylor, and actually Logan doesn’t have that much more history, then Taylor, but those two years.

          2. Ball park makes a difference. That is for sure, conversely if he had been playing regular in SD, his power numbers would still not have been great. He is what he is, and If you know anything about FAZ, he likes the guys he trades for, so I fully expect them to pick up his option, no doubt in my mind. Taylor’s versatility is a huge asset, so I expect him to step into that super utility role next year, and when Forsythe is finally gone is 2019, Taylor will be a regular somewhere…Just the way I see it working out, agree or not, ok with me.

  3. Scott, I hope you read the tail-end of Timmon’s comments this morning about 9:17. Some people are sure two-faced back-stabbers.

  4. Martinez would be a nice pick up for left field. Taylor would shift to the bench and be able to spell guys for a game all over the diamond. It’s an incremental upgrade, and as a rental Martinez is in no way what so ever worth Verdugo or Buehler. Sure Hill and Reddick were rentals last year, but the 3 right handers the FO sent to Oakland had all fallen on the depth chart. The way I see this working well would be Kike, (who has fallen behind Taylor for RH utility player) Calhoun, Oaks, and another lower prospect for Martinez and Josh Wilson. Might be a little light for the Tigers though. A similar framework would be a nice one stop shop for a line-up/depth upgrade and a solid lefty for the pen.

    1. I do not see how they had fallen off the depth chart. All the talk was that Montas was being groomed as a closer. Cotton had a huge upside. Holmes was probably the only one not high on their list. Look where they were rated in the farm system before the trade. Considering Hill ends up costing them 48 million dollars, it was not all that great a deal. Especially since you have to judge the Dodger portion of it on what they got last year from those 2. It was not all that great.

    1. Doolittle and Madson for 1 good prospect and a couple of fringe guys. WOW! Great deal. FAZ fanned on that one with his personal supply locker. I absolutely agree with that. The Padres asked for Verdugo for Hand. I think that’s a little steep for a LH reliever. I heard that Detroit covets both Verdugo and Alvarez.

  5. I hope they do no tinkering at all. If they can get some bullpen for next to nothing (meaning do lose any of your current position players) then do it. Otherwise, don’t get greedy and stupid. “Leave the dance with the one that brung you.”

    I actually like Taylor in LF, I want his bat in the lineup every day.

    1. Considering all, he has done a decent job out there. But me, I would rather see a real outfielder out there. Same with Kike, he is better as an infielder than an outfielder in my book, and maybe that is just me. I wish Toles were not injured and Thompson was hitting like early last year, but so far it ain’t happening.

  6. Old bugaboo jumps up in the 7th and 8th as they leave the bags juiced again. Joc just looked at strike 3. What ever happened to protecting the plate?????? Shessh, you are in the big leagues. Got to feel for Kike on that grab by Osuna.

  7. Good thing they have a day off tomorrow, they look a little lethargic right now. Sometimes the ball looks like it is better hit than it is in this stadium. Boy, they just roll over in the 9th. All in all there is not much to complain about with this team. They have exceeded what I thought they would be by a huge margin. Guys who I thought would not be of any significance are very significant. I will say this. Hill is pitching better and might be earning that contract. Grandal has been pretty steady and other than that little glitch he had in May, he has been consistent. We will see if they feel a major move is needed. I doubt they get an impact player, just not the FO’s MO.

    1. He’d cost a fortune, but I’d love to get Britton. Use him all over the place in high-leverage situations.

      I love using Kenley for the 4-out save. He’s going to throw between innings if just used for the 9th, why not use a % of those pitches in a live game?

  8. I read that Britton had tightness with his forearm twice this year.

    I don’t know much about Brach, but he served as the closer, when Britton was out, and he did a good job.

    Brach does have a good whip, but like I said, I don’t know much about him.

    I would love Britton if he is healthy, because he is good against both righties and lefties.

  9. “The front office has not only show an unwillingness to acquire expensive veterans via trade, but they usually only trade with their former clubs. If somehow Verlander or Martinez were sent to the A’s or suddenly started wearing a little stingray with a sunshine sparkle on their uniforms then I could believe that there was a possibility of them coming to the Dodgers.”

    Meant to be cheeky, yes, but still kind of a dumb comment, and one that’s been repeated often.

    They traded with the As because Rich Hill was the best starting pitcher for the price at the deadline and they also filled a need in right.

    They traded with the Rays because they needed a second baseman, and the price for Dozier was too high.

    1. Filled a need? Reddick was a disaster from day one, considering the way he played the last 1 1/2 months I would have rather seen Puig out there every day, warts and all, he is a much better player than Reddick.

      1. Irrespective of how he played, they got him because he filled a need AT THE TIME. They had sent Puig down and there wasn’t a whole lot of confidence that he was going to be the answer in right field heading into the playoffs, especially considering his past implosions under playoff pressure.

        1. Exactly right dodgerpatch! He is a good baseball player. Sadly, you will never get many of the posters here to admit it though. I think I will look to the 4 yr $52M contract he signed with the team with the second best record in baseball (second only to the FAZ constructed Los Angeles Dodgers) after last season to determine who is correct. Oh yeah, and his .314 BA and .872 OPS for Houston this year.

          1. He is a good baseball player. He was good baseball player for the As. He just slumped when he came to LA. It was a good trade that made a lot of sense for both teams at the time. Just because the outcome is not what you want it to be, doesn’t make the trade itself a bad one. If anything, the A’s end of the bargain has not lived up to expectations…yet. I wonder if A’s fans on blogs constantly harp on Billy Beane.

            We’re not hearing much complaining about Hill right now, at least not like earlier in the year. Give it time. He’ll have a bad game at some point, in which case the bemoaning over future Cy Young winner Jharel Cotton will commence in earnest.

        2. Probably, but he was definitely not a fit in LA, and I for one would have gone after anybody else. The guy sucked in LA and that is the point. If you want to talk about implosions under playoff pressure then you have to toss Kershaw in there, his playoff stats are not exactly awe inspiring, and guys like Ted Williams had lousy records in the world series. Any player can melt down at any time. Hill has been better, that is obvious, but he was not all that last year and that is what you have to judge the trade on, how they performed last year. We did not even see Hill for over a 1 1/2 months after the trade and we were forced to watch Reddick’s less than inspiring performance. Sorry, I disliked the trade then and it sure as shit does not look any better now.

  10. Sore forearm doesn’t sound good. He’s already served time for it. Looks like he was off 2 months. 2 earned in last. 4 IP. Caution there. No, wait. He’s perfect. Injured pitchers can be had for cheaper.

    I don’t use Jansen in two innings. But that’s me. His job is the 9th. Throwing between innings? You mean before he goes in? That’s just staying loose. It’s the difference between jogging and sprinting. Yeah, I know – wrong. Strong argument by the way.

    We’ve seen this all before. The Dodgers are the best th the West, for the 5th straight year. What’s going to set this team apart happens in October.

    1. Britton has been back for 4 games, and yes, he’s allowed 2 runs and 3-4 hits. But those runs and almost all of the hits came in 1 appearance. The other 3 were scoreless

      July 5: 1ip, 1 hit, 1bb
      July 7: 1 ip, 3 hits, 2 ER
      July 9: 1 ip, 1k
      July 14: 1 ip, 1 hit, 1k

      1. Zack Britton: 13 Games…..14 innings pitched…….18 hits…..6 walks………9 K’s……..333 average against and a 1.71 WHIP……on the surface that does not look all that impressive. 24 runners allowed and a strikeout to walk ratio that is not awe inspiring. ERA is 1.93 and he is 5-5 in save ops. He has not allowed a homer. Better than Avilan so definitely an upgrade.

        1. Yes, I think if you can get Britton for .50 on a dollar because he’s coming back from the injury, it’s a no-brainer.

  11. I don’t like JD Martinez in our lineup. I think we stick with Taylor and hope Kike starts hitting substantially above the Mendoza line.

    If a trade is made with the Tigers, I would like Verlander and Wilson, give up some prospects who are likely blocked (Calhoun, Oaks and maybe Ravin or Fields) and also dump Kazmir, SVS and Hatcher on them. I just think Verlander still has some left and he will do well at Dodgers stadium, and Wilson is a good LHRP.

    I also think AGon will come back and give us a lift as a part time player in September and October. He may be our Mike Davis in the post season.

    I just like to see old dogs have their last days in the sun and on top of the hill.

    1. Well I do not want to add a 30 plus starter who has been mediocre this year and his ERA is up around 5. Verlander was great once, but not now, I just go after the reliever and leave it at that. But the Tigers want Verdugo. They are not going to take Kazmir, Hatcher or SVS. No way, Kazmir’s contract shoots that down, Hatcher is on the DL and in no way is in any trade conversation, and SVS, why would Detroit even want him? Common sense and baseball sense says the Tigers are getting ready to rebuild. They want kids, not used to be’s and never will be’s.

    2. Don’t want anything to do with Verlander. He may have “some” left, but he costs a lot and isn’t trending well.

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