There's strong element of now or never with these Dodgers

There's strong element of now or never with these Dodgers
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins fields a ball before throwing a runner out at first base during a spring training game against the Cleveland Indians on March 7. (John Locher / Associated Press)

The Dodgers and Elvis, what’s not to love? He sings to them. Can’t you hear him? “It’s now or never.”

No? The Dodgers are built to last? Have greatly improved their farm system. Have oodles of money. Smart management. Dedicated ownership.


All true. Which means what this season? They have a legitimate chance of winning it all, much like last season before half their roster was ripped up.

But the thing about this season is, three-fourths of the infield will be playing during their final contract year. And it's not like any of them are approaching their prime.

Which is not to say Howie Kendrick (32 in July), Jimmy Rollins (36) and Juan Uribe (36 next week) don’t have plenty left, but it isn’t like you’re going to build the future around them, either.

(As a side note to all my sabermetric friends who were in such an uproar when the Dodgers traded highly regarded prospect Carlos Santana to the Indians for Casey Blake, who was in the last year of his contract: Did not hear a peep this off-season when the Dodgers traded first-round pick Andrew Heaney for Kendrick or first-round pick Zach Eflin to the Phillies for Rollins.)

All three could be gone next year. Or one or two or none. It's uncertain, depending upon how they and the youngsters behind them perform this season, how appealing the next free agency class looks to management and what trade options open up.

Add Adrian Gonzalez (33 in May), and that's a pretty old infield. It at least doesn't figure to return intact next season.

So it is very likely something of a one-and-done routine for this particular team. That's true to some degree with every team, but when you have three guys in the last year of their contracts on the wrong side of 32, it's even more so.

Pull that off, and you hear the King singing.

Follow Steve Dilbeck on Twitter @stevedilbeck