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Inbox: Which star should Dodgers trade for?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick answers questions from Los Angeles fans
February 1, 2019

What element do you think Dodger management feels is most important to giving the Dodgers the best chance to finally win a World Series ... Realmuto or Kluber? -- Louis Rasky (@winelouis) via Twitter:: Submit a question to the Dodgers Inbox ::The Dodgers are proudly opaque in their baseball operations

What element do you think Dodger management feels is most important to giving the Dodgers the best chance to finally win a World Series ... Realmuto or Kluber?
-- Louis Rasky (@winelouis) via Twitter

:: Submit a question to the Dodgers Inbox ::
The Dodgers are proudly opaque in their baseball operations approach and decisions, leaving all of us to draw our own conclusions. I conclude that -- except for wanting to win a World Series -- they don't look at player acquisition through the singular lens of winning a World Series as most fans do. That's why this management has never signed the most expensive free agent on the market and probably never will. As they run their business, the Dodgers consider short- and long-term payroll impact, competitive balance tax, international signing and draft pick penalties, analytic profiles and clubhouse character among many factors, while seemingly putting a high priority on extracting value in every transaction without trading their most prized prospects. That said, I think they could use Corey Kluber more than J.T. Realmuto.
Are there any big contracts coming off the books after this season?
-- Jeff Rosamond, Calif.

Coming off the books after this year are Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Russell Martin and possibly Kenley Jansen (opt out).
Is there any thought in the front office that bouncing a starter between several positions (Taylor, Bellinger) could create a lack of consistency at the plate?
-- Matt Formes (@achoomf1) via Twitter

This front office? This regime adores versatility and flexibility and has rejected the notion that switching defensive positions, or sitting players to avoid unfavorable offensive matchups, has any carryover effect in performance. Rather, when a player can handle multiple positions, he theoretically can see more playing time than being anchored to one spot, if his performance is deserving. Some players, however, complain privately that being benched because of unfavorable matchups is a self-fulfilling prophecy that prevents the player from improving on a perceived weakness.
Will Julio Urías be an Opening Day starter?
-- @Muley34 via Twitter

Assuming you don't actually mean the Opening Day starter, but merely in the role of a starting pitcher when the regular season opens, maybe. Will he be healthy? Will every other starting pitcher be healthy? If Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Ryu, Hill, Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda are all healthy when the season starts, Urias could be in the Dodgers' bullpen, or he could be in the Oklahoma City rotation with his innings on a close watch. Minor League options make Urias a candidate to be sent down. While fans want to see Urias as soon as possible, management wants him fresh for the postseason, as he was last year.
Do you see the Dodgers re-signing/extending Justin Turner within the next two offseasons? Or signing someone like Rendon or Arenado?
-- Eric Rodriguez (@BannedRodriguez) via Twitter

Turner will be 36 at the end of his contract with a $20 million salary. Depending on his health and performance, maybe a short-term extension will make sense for both sides, but there would be no reason to do it until the current contract expires. Maybe by then Corey Seager will need to move off shortstop. Maybe they will shell out a massive contract for Nolan Arenado or Anthony Rendon, although that's not their style. Or, maybe they'll find a third-base version of A.J. Pollock and split the difference.
Will A.J. Pollock get days off the day before the team is off like J.D. Drew?
-- David Williamson (@StolenMonkey86) via Twitter

Pollock might not know it, and might not like it, but I would imagine so, considering his recent history of injuries and the way the Dodgers manage playing time. For the record, though, the tone at his signing was that he's the everyday center fielder.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for since 2001.