After 13 months of debate and discussion about how to fit four starting outfielders into three spots, the
Yasiel Puig plays right field,
The Dodgers flew home Wednesday after a dispiriting two-game sweep in Detroit, capped by a 4-1 loss to defending
The Tigers won Wednesday despite a lineup that did not include
"We got humbled these two days," catcher
Crawford could be activated as soon as Thursday, which could leave Manager Don Mattingly with an unhappy bench player. Mattingly said he would speak with Crawford about his role, but said he is "not really planning any big changes" and noted the Dodgers had ascended to first place in the National League West with a set outfield. San Francisco moved percentage points ahead Wednesday night.
"Everybody is happier," Mattingly said. "They don't have to come to the ballpark looking for the lineup card."
The Dodgers were 29-24 (.547) when Crawford went on the disabled list. They are 22-18 (.550) since then, including 19-11 (.633) in the last 30 games.
Mattingly said Crawford bears no blame for the situation.
"Carl happened to be the one who got hurt," Mattingly said.
However, Kemp is batting .289 since becoming the everyday left fielder May 28, when the Dodgers put Crawford on the disabled list.
Is there any thought of moving Kemp back to center field?
"Not right now," Mattingly said.
Could Crawford play another position?
"Carl pretty much plays left," Mattingly said.
Crawford, 32, a four-time All-Star, considers himself an everyday player, and the Dodgers would not be opposed to accommodating him with a trade.
However, if Crawford were traded at the July 31 deadline, he would have $69 million left on his contract — $6.75 million for the last two months of this season, and $62.25 million through 2017.
So, to trade Crawford and his big contract, the Dodgers might have to take on another big contract. The Dodgers are looking for a starting pitcher. If the
If Hamels was traded at the July 31 deadline, he would have $103.5 million left on his contract, through 2018, when he would be 34. The difference between the money left on the contracts — $34.5 million — could allow the Dodgers room to pay some of Crawford's contract and acquire a top pitcher without spending the money to sign the likes of Scherzer or
The Dodgers would have to include top prospects, of course. And Crawford's unsettling experience in the rugged Boston market might well make Philadelphia apprehensive. But the last-place Phillies insist they are not embarking on a long rebuilding process, and their left fielders rank last in the
No contract is untradeable.
But the vast majority of trade scenarios never come to pass. In the near future, that could leave Crawford as a pinch-hitter.