Given all that, one free agent makes particular sense:
Infielder Juan Uribe.
The World Series champion Giants want to retain Uribe, but the interest in Uribe is significant enough that he's almost certain to decline the team’s offer of salary arbitration and remain on the open market.
Uribe, 31, isn’t an elite hitter, as evidenced by his .300 career on-base percentage. But he established career highs with 24 homers and 85 RBI last season and hit big homers in Game 6 of the NLCS and Game 1 of the World Series.
For the Dodgers, he would make sense in a number of ways:
* He could play third base, enabling the team to use Casey Blake as part of a left-field platoon.
* He could play shortstop on days when the oft-injured Rafael Furcal is unavailable.
* He could play second ahead of Ryan Theriot, whose .633 OPS last season was the third lowest in the NL.
The Dodgers need depth in the infield. Shortstop Dee Gordon, who'll likely open next season at Triple-A, is their only top infield prospect.
Furcal, 32, could be entering his final season with the team. His $12 million club option for 2012 becomes guaranteed only if he makes 600 plate appearances, a figure he's reached only once in the past three seasons.
Blake, 37, is also entering the final year of his deal; the Dodgers hold a $6 million option on him for ’12.
A multi-year contract for Uribe would protect the Dodgers at multiple positions this year and beyond.