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Dodgers Dugout: Ian Kinsler? Brian Dozier? Who is going to play second base?

Dodgers Dugout: Ian Kinsler? Brian Dozier? Who is going to play second base?
Could Ian Kinsler be the next Dodgers second baseman? (David Goldman / AP)

Hi, my name is Houston Mitchell, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. If it takes the Dodgers as many years to win the World Series as it did the Cubs, then their next title will be in 2096.

Next season's team

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The Dodgers have some holes to fill before next season. Let's take a look at a projected 25-man roster if the season started today:

Catchers: Yasmani Grandal, Austin Barnes

First base: Adrian Gonzalez, Darin Ruf

Second base: Micah Johnson, Charlie Culberson

Third base: Rob Segedin

Shortstop: Corey Seager

Left field: Andre Ethier, Andrew Toles

Center field: Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez

Right field: Yasiel Puig, Trayce Thompson

Starting rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir

Bullpen: Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Louis Coleman, Grant Dayton, Yimi Garcia, Alex Wood 

Right now, the Dodgers need a second baseman, a third baseman, a setup man and a closer.

Let's cross our fingers and hope the Dodgers re-sign Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen and that they sign a Joe Blanton type as their setup man. That leaves second base. There are no free-agent second basemen to get excited about, so the Dodgers will probably have to get one in a trade. If you believe the rumors, the Dodgers are interested in four men:

1. Ian Kinsler, Detroit. Kinsler has a .306 career average and .507 career slugging percentage against left-handers, which was the Dodgers' biggest weakness last season. Kinsler is owed $11 million in 2017, with a $10-million option for 2018. However, he has a partial no-trade clause in his contract, and he would have to give permission to be traded to the Dodgers. That means the Dodgers would probably have to offer a contract extension.

2. Brian Dozier, Minnesota. Dozier had a career year in 2016, hitting .268 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs. He will be 30 next season and is a career .246 hitter. He is owed $6 million next season and $9 million in 2018, so the price is right.

3. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati. Phillips is 35 and has one year and $14 million left on his contract. He has a no-trade clause as well. He is a four-time Gold Glove winner, but getting Phillips does not excite me.

4. Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia. The Phillies just acquired Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers and plan to start him in left field. But they could easily move him to second if they deal Hernandez. He led the league with 11 triples last season, but I just don't see the Dodgers trading for him.

The bad news: Getting any of these players (especially Kinsler or Dozier), would require trading someone like Jose De Leon, Cody Bellinger or Alex Verdugo.

Who would you acquire? Follow me on Twitter and let me know.

Forgive us our debts

Times baseball writer Bill Shaikin had a very interesting article last week on how the Dodgers face a mandate to reduce debt in order to conform to MLB rules.

The rule generally limits debt to no more than 12 times annual revenue, minus expenses. The Dodgers were not profitable in any of their first three full seasons under new ownership, co-owner Todd Boehly said last year. The team debt is believed to be in the hundreds of millions.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

Ralph Branca

Former Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, best known for giving up Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning homer in 1951, died last week.

While most remember him for the Thomson homer, Branca was a three-time All Star and won 21 games for the Dodgers in 1947. He handled the aftermath of the homer with grace, and he and Thomson became friends years later while attending baseball card shows. Thomson probably summed it up best when he said that Branca was "as good and decent a man as God ever put on this Earth."

For a good remembrance of Branca, go here.

And finally

The Dodgers help open the 1982 Emmy Awards show. Watch it here.

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston

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