What's the Dodgers' roster going to look like this season?
The following players are under contract and are very likely to start the year on the team.
Looks like there are 5 spots up for grabs:
Back up infielder
I'm almost certain that the Dodgers will go with Castro here, which is terrible. But I wouldn't want DeJesus there either. Carroll was the primary backup infielder last year, and will be again this year. Meaning that DeJesus will be sitting on the bench most of the time. Much better for him to be playing every day in Albuquerque. Dee Gordon will probably take over (soon) after Furcal's contract expires after the season but, same as DeJesus, he needs to be playing not sitting on the bench.
I would have went with Chin-Lung Hu who was traded to the Mets for a meh pitcher, John Antonini
Xavier Paul is out of options which means he will either 1) make the team, 2) be traded, 3) be DFA'd. I like Paul and would have liked to see him given a shot at the starting LF job, at least in a platoon. But the Dodgers signed Gwynn and Gibbons. That's too many left-handed OFers. Expect the Dodgers to trade Paul soon. I also like Jamie Hoffman. He's not going to be a starting OFer but he could be an ok 5th OFer. He has some power, some speed, some defense. He does everything slightly better than average.
But, I think the Dodgers will go with Russ Mitchell. 6 OFers is too many and we could use the IF depth. Mitchell can play 1st and 3rd which Carroll and Castro don't really fit for. Unfortunately, Russ Mitchell isn't very good.
John Lindsey is similar to Mitchell, but doesn't play 3B and is coming off of a broken hand at the end of last season.
Jerry Sands. Same as Dee Gordon. He needs to be playing everyday in the minors. He only played a half-season at AA last year.
Trayvon Robinson. Same as Sands. He was in AA last year. Instead of riding the Dodgers' pine he needs to be playing.
There are 3 open slots in the bullpen. The favorites for those spots are most likely:
Realistically, it could be any of these guys.
Hawksworth was acquired for Theriot. He was a former high draft pick who hasn't done much. He's out of options so he'll probably take one of the spots unless he's terrible in the spring. Troncoso and Belasario have experience with the team but both of them had down years last year after successful 2009s. Wade was good in '08 but pitched almost 100 innings between the majors and minors and hasn't been the same since.
Jansen is the most exciting option. He looked amazing last season in a few innings but he's only been a pitcher for a little over a year. I think he'll start the season with LA (unless he has a horrid spring) but he still needs to learn how to pitch. I don't expect him to pitch the whole season in LA.
Elbert is a favorite of mine. The Dodgers only have 1 left-hander in the bullpen (Kuo) and Kuo will be either the set-up man or closer. There's an opening for a situational lefty. Elbert has very good stuff but struggles with control and injuries. I'd like to see him get a shot. Dana Eveland or Antonini could end up here as well.
Link. He's a guy. Came over in the Juan Pierre trade. Not much upside, but he's not going to kill you either.