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Inbox: Who will be LA's second-half MVP?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick fields Dodgers fans' questions
MLB.com @kengurnick

Who's going to be the Dodgers' second-half MVP?
-- @norcaloverland

Justin Turner. His fly balls that were dying on the warning track the first two months are now home runs. Add power to what he already showed in the first half -- batting champ average, Gold Glove-quality defense, clubhouse leadership -- and what more is there to an MVP? The only concern is the health of his legs, because he has chronic knee issues and he hasn't been running well since returning from the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He'll probably get more days off than you'd expect for an everyday player in an effort to keep him in one piece.

Who's going to be the Dodgers' second-half MVP?
-- @norcaloverland

Justin Turner. His fly balls that were dying on the warning track the first two months are now home runs. Add power to what he already showed in the first half -- batting champ average, Gold Glove-quality defense, clubhouse leadership -- and what more is there to an MVP? The only concern is the health of his legs, because he has chronic knee issues and he hasn't been running well since returning from the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He'll probably get more days off than you'd expect for an everyday player in an effort to keep him in one piece.

Seems to be much trade interest in Dodger prospects, but might they offer some Major Leaguers in trade instead: Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Austin Barnes, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Trayce Thompson?
-- @DCTurner49

Generally speaking, teams willing to trade players in midseason that could make an impact down the stretch are waving the white flag this year and building for the future. So, they want young, financially controllable players with big upside in return. And teams like the Dodgers, who have been winning this year, are generally reluctant to trade players off the 25-man roster that helped put them in a winning position.

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So, trading a Pederson or Puig, etc., would only create another need to replace them, in addition to their existing needs. A deal for an outfielder like J.D. Martinez or Andrew McCutchen is a different story, because a Pederson or Puig might be required in return.

Will the Dodgers call up Walker Buehler rather than trade him, since they clearly need another starter?
-- @Joshua103

Based on the way Dodgers officials have spoken of Buehler (their No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline.com), and their intense interest in him during Spring Training, they seem to view him more as they did Julio Urias last year than a trade piece -- a potential impact arm that can help down the stretch and into October, most likely in relief. This management has been effective judging which of their prospects to trade and which not to -- with the exception of Scott Schebler -- so a Buehler trade would need to be a true blockbuster, which is very unlikely.

Video: Top Prospects: Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers

Who is your first-half MVP?
-- @DodgersWayFS

Cody Bellinger gets this vote. Even though he started the season in the Minor Leagues, he leads the club in power production, he did it at a time when injuries left the team without Adrian Gonzalez, Andrew Toles and Andre Ethier, and his ability to play both first base and the outfield has provided manager Dave Roberts added flexibility in a way similar to last year's National League MVP, Kris Bryant, did for the Cubs. He's been this year's Corey Seager, who finished third in MVP voting last year in addition to winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Can Chris Taylor continue to be this productive?
-- @dodgersRfine

At 26, the Dodgers see Taylor as a younger and faster version of Turner, who adjusted his swing to add power to existing contact. Taylor is athletic and versatile enough defensively to make the move from the infield to the outfield and he hasn't embarrassed himself out there, even though he had little training. If he is never more than a super utilityman, he'd still be one of management's best acquisition. But his current career arc shows no signs of plateauing.

Video: ARI@LAD: Taylor laces a walk-off single to left

Who's the most likely prospect to part ways for pitching depth in a trade?
-- @Jake_Smith480

The name heard most often is outfielder Alex Verdugo -- the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect -- but ultimately the club should be more willing to trade polished hitter Willie Calhoun and even Cuban pitcher Yadier Alvarez. Give current management credit for not trading Pederson, Seager and Bellinger when they could have netted big-name talent in return. Verdugo lacks their power, but not much else.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers