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The Dodgers and Dee Gordon: There really is no dilemma

February 19, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dee Gordon poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Camelback Ranch.
Dee Gordon poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Camelback… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

What to do with Dee Gordon, yesterday’s star in the making?

Last season Gordon was expected to the Dodgers’ next great infielder, a budding talent with rare speed.

This season Gordon is already penciled in for triple-A Albuquerque, a byproduct of his disappointing play on the field (18 errors in 79 games) and at the plate (.228 batting, .280 on-base percentage), and the arrival of shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

And really, at this point, that’s a good thing.

He was clearly rushed to the big leagues, the Dodgers falling a little too in love with that .372/.398 September of his in 2011.

But Ramirez, if you assume he stays at short – which apparently we’re supposed to – is under contract again next season, so there is no opening for Gordon in 2014 either.

The Dodgers’ longer term options are trade him, hold onto him in the minors or teach him another position.

His trade value, however, can’t be much after his 2012 season. And the Dodgers’ projected starting outfield of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are all signed through at least 2017, with prospect Yasiel Puig presumably next up.

At that this point, they can afford to hang onto him, continue to believe in him and let him develop. He’s still relatively young – he turns 25 in April – has a wealth of talent and that remarkable speed. He’s not even eligible for arbitration until 2015.

Plus, no surprise, he appears to have a good attitude about his situation.

"I like it like this," he said to The Times’ Dylan Hernandez. "I like working for things. I was always taught that if you want something bad enough, you have to work for it."

Talented young shortstops are hard to come by. And worth waiting for.

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