#1 - Make Justin Turner the everyday Third Baseman. Had he been an everyday starter, Justin Turner would have been one of the most productive players in the game. He was that valuable as a backup infielder. He posted above average defense as well. Uribe had another great year at third, but Turner's bat is much hotter even if their defense is probably about even (which says a lot about Uribe's skills given his age and size).

Uribe will be an effective replacement at third base when Turner is injured or filling in somewhere else (such as 1B or 2B when Dee Gordon or Adrian Gonzalez is having a rest day). He could pinch hit as well or platoon in the later innings.


#2 - Move Andre Ethier. It's not impossible, but it will require the Dodgers to eat most of his salary. I could see them paying $15 million of his $18 million salary and some team taking a gamble that he'll be slightly above average (and therefore a decent investment at $3 million). For the Dodgers, there's no point in juggling five outfielders on the team and not letting the guy with the $18 million salary get more playing time somewhere else. If they can at least write off the loss and get a few million back for other acquisitions, so be it.

#3 - Lose Hanley and make Rojas the starting shortstop. Yes, you heard that right. Supposedly, the Dodgers can gain a draft pick if they offer Hanley a qualifying offer and he turns them down, but that in itself could be too much of a risk because...

1) Hanley might not get another offer as high. If the Dodgers were to throw $15 million out there and expect him to bolt somewhere else, they could end up actually resigning Hanley since other teams might not want to pay as much for a 31 year old shortstop with a lot of recent health issues and deteriorating defense skills.

2) Hanley might sign with the Dodgers for less than another offer simply because he prefers Los Angeles and the team. Why go play for some 4th place club in the midwest for a lousy $1 million more?

So, why Rojas? Why give the everyday SS job to a guy with a 34 OPS+ this past season? Because of his defense. His defensive WAR for the season was a 1.8 in just 162 plate appearances. Give him a full season and that could turn into about 5-6 defensive WAR and a total value of about 3-4 WAR when you take away the detriment of his bat. That would make him one of the most valuable shortstops in the league and all at a league minimum salary. The $16 million saved by letting Ramirez run will add to a lot more for this team.

#4 - Demote any outfielder to a platoon/pinch hitting situation if they aren't one of the top three on the team. This isn't even an offseason decision, but last year we had five outfielders and Scott Van Slyke was more valuable than three of them. He should have been in the starting lineup every single day and the wins column would have reflected that. Puig's better and Kemp will likely be worth more overall given that he's found his swing again and isn't playing centerfield, but if Van Slyke is putting up better numbers than Ethier and Crawford, it should be him starting.

This goes back to the point about needing to get rid of Ethier. We can't have five outfielders, especially when there's call-ups and potential seasoned veterans that can also play those positions. Ethier needs to be off the roster entirely to make way especially for those coming up from the minors.


#5 - Sign an ace starting pitcher. Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu? Fine. Haren likely taking his option and resigning? Sure, it's insurance. But there's just not enough meat there. No guarantees for a #4 or #5 starter and we're really boned if one or two of the top names hit the DL (remember early in the 2013 season, anyone?). With the money they have and the fact that an extra top starter makes a huge difference in the playoffs, there's no reason to not sign one of the top free agent arms hitting the market.

We also need extra pitching strength because practically all of the team is only going to be worse offensively next year. Think about the starting lineup for a second. Now, how many of those players are going to be better offensively next season? Exactly. Hence the need for an extra top tier starter to prevent runs from scoring as we will likely be scoring fewer runs ourselves and have absolutely nobody that we can replace in the starting lineup given the quality of players we already have and the large contracts a lot of them possess. Pitching is where management can really open up their wallet.

#6 - Fix the bullpen. Relief pitching is notoriously inconsistent from one season to the next, largely due to both luck and the small sample size of innings and batters faced. But if there are any arms out there with proven consistency year-to-year (or even most years), the Dodgers should go for a big signing or two. We had nothing left in this category by the end of the season after a few players ran out of gas, so having a couple of proven veterans in the mix could greatly help. Unfortunately for us, Brian Wilson has already stated he will take the Dodgers up on his option of $9.5 million for next season, so there's a ton of wasted money right there in that regard (and he's sure to get a lot of usage at first simply because of the price of that contract).

The team should also look to the minors and consider converting some hard-throwing AAA starters into hard throwing major league relievers.