Rumor Has It 

“All of these words whispered in my ear,
Tell a story that I cannot bear to hear,
Just ’cause I said it, it don’t mean that I meant it,
People say crazy things,
Just ’cause I said it, don’t mean that I meant it,
Just ’cause you heard it”

~Adele

TAMPA BAY RAYS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Los Angeles Dodgers during game against the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, July 27,2016 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. Photo by Jon SooHoo©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

T-minus 80 hours or so until the trade deadline. And while there is plenty of talk of who can go where, we may not know who is going (or isn’t going) anywhere until Monday. We all know the needs that face the Dodgers — a starting pitcher, a relief pitcher, and a big bat. There a few scenarios that would bring some or all of those pieces to Los Angeles.

Wade Davis and Ian Kennedy — The most recent rumor swirling is acquiring Wade Davis and Ian Kennedy from the Kansas City Royals. Davis, the current closer for the Royals, has a 1.60 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched. His walks are up and his strikeout rate is down, but he still would be a great addition to a overtaxed bullpen. The Royals hold a $10 million option on him for next season.

Would Kenley Jansen welcome another closer to the bullpen? Manager Dave Roberts has said that his team is very unselfish, and each player will fill any role needed. I can only wonder if acquiring another closer would make Kenley upset, especially with this being the last year of his contract.

If traded, the Dodgers would be the fifth team for Kennedy. He currently has a 4.41 era, 1.233 WHIP, 117 strikeouts and has allowed 26 home runs — the most in the MLB. An upside is that he would be an innings eater, something the Dodgers desperately need at this point. The downside is that the Dodgers would most likely take on his huge contract. Kennedy is owed $62.5 million over the next four years, although he can opt out after 2017. Of course, I for one will never forget the fight between he and Zack Greinke in 2013. One could only imagine Kennedy and Puig on the same team. Which brings us to…

Yasiel Puig to ? — It seems as though at every yearly trade deadline, Yasiel Puig is linked to a ton of rumors. Today while listening to MLB Network Radio, I heard that the Dodgers’ front office is seriously shopping Puig. Will this be the year he is traded? The Dodgers would like another left-hander in their lineup. And he could be a valuable piece in addition to one or more of the many attractive pieces the Dodgers have in their farm system.

I know that Puig has had his share of trouble both on and off the field, but I really would miss him. I’ve always had a soft spot for him, despite his being oft injured and his antics. He has a pure child-like quality when he plays the game, and that arm!

Chris Sale — This scenario seems the most far-reaching to me. Chris Sale is the best pitcher in the American League, and as such would require a king’s ransom in return. The Dodgers’ front office has said time and again that they won’t decimate the farm for one player, and that seems like what it would take to get Sale. Well, maybe not decimate, but maybe two or more top prospects, including Julio Urias, in addition to somebody like Puig. Clayton Kershaw and Sale back-to-back would be any fan’s dream for a 1-2 punch in the rotation. However, I don’t see Andrew Freidman and Company pulling the trigger on this one.

Jay Bruce/Josh ReddickJay Bruce is just the kind of left-handed power hitter that the front office is looking for. He leads the National League in RBI (79), and is second in home runs only to Trevor Story (26). A natural right fielder, one would imagine that Puig be included in the trade back to Cincinnati. Josh Reddick is also a left-handed batter with a current .300 batting average, along with a .818 OPS. He only has seven home runs, so he doesn’t have quite the pop that Bruce would have. He does have five stolen bases, and his strikeouts are down this season. Reddick also plays right field, again, seemingly necessitating Puig to make the trade viable for both sides. Out of these two, I would prefer Bruce. Both players are free agents at the end of the season.

Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy is the top notch catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. He would be a wonderful addition to the Dodgers roster, but as the team has many more pressing issues than catcher at the moment, I don’t see this one happening. Any other year, I think the front office would be very keen to acquire him.

Chris Archer and Matt Moore — Both Chris Archer and Matt Moore faced what could be their new team this week. Archer is very good pitcher who is having a bit of a down year, but pitched very well against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Moore also pitched well on Wednesday, picking up the win. Tampa Bay is 20 games out of the American League East divisional race, and could be looking to stock up on prospects to make their team better in the coming years.

What it all boils down to though is that none of us really know what the front office is thinking. And although they are not currently letting on, the timetable for Kershaw’s return is could greatly influence how big a splash they make at this trade deadline.

Currently sitting 2.5 games out of the division and leading the Wild Card race, the Dodgers are prepared to make some type of upgrade(s), overtake the division lead, and dive headfirst into the playoffs. Stayed tuned.

 

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