Dodgers Weighing Multiple Options as 2017 Trade Deadline Approaches

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(Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)

And so the second half, and the trade cycle, of the 2017 season begins. The Chicago Cubs kicked it off with a trade with their cross city partners, acquiring Jose Quintana from the White Sox for two of their top prospects, plus one other. Quintana had been on the Dodgers‘ radar for the last season and a half. The reigning World Series champs obviously felt they needed to jump to rush to acquire who they thought could help their team.

Suffice it to say, the Dodgers’ team that we know as of right now will most likely not be the same team we see at the end of the month. It may even be that there’s a player we love who will be gone. (I really hope not – I’m still not over losing A.J. Ellis). But the Quintana trade portends that the acquisition of an impact player will take more than you are comfortable giving up.

Two names have been brought up frequently in the last two days — J.D. Martinez, outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, and Zach Britton, relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

Martinez is a veteran outfielder with a current slash line of .299/.381/.610/.991, 12 doubles and 14 home runs. He is eligible for free agency after this season. His remaining contract would be about $4-5M for the remainder of the season. He could come in a package deal with reliever Justin Wilson. The left-handed Wilson could be just what the Dodgers are looking for. He is 3-3 this season with a 2.36 ERA. He was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2005, but opted to go to college instead. He is arbitration eligible next year, and could become a free agent in 2019.

The Tigers are in full rebuild mode, and have at least three good pitching prospects in their minor league system. Most likely they would be in the market for a position player, and Willie Calhoun could fit best with the Tigers’ needs. They do love Alex Verdugo, who would rival their prospect Christin Stewart, who is currently at Double-A Erie. Of course, there would be more players included, and I could not begin to speculate what creative package the Dodgers could come up with. But the Tigers could kill two birds with one trade, so it remains something to watch.

Britton is an incredibly intriguing idea. Having he and Kenley Jansen back-to-back would pretty much make it lights out once you got to the eighth inning. Even Kenley was excited about such an idea, telling Jon Heyman: “You just gave me goosebumps,” when told the Dodgers had indeed inquired about Britton’s availability. Britton is arbitration eligible next season, with free agency coming for him in 2019.

While there is not a huge market for corner outfielders like Martinez, there is always one for top-shelf relievers, especially when there is a playoff contending team like the Washington Nationals who desperately need a capable closer. That could drive the price sky-high for Britton, and more than the Dodgers are willing to pay.

Other rumors floating around are for Sonny Gray and Sean Doolittle. This could repeat a trade from last year’s deadline with the Oakland Athletics. Sonny Gray, a starting pitcher, would be under team control until 2019 via arbitration. Gray could be a wonderful back-end of the rotation addition for this year and beyond. Doolittle is a oft injured left-handed relief pitcher. While he doesn’t provide the fire power Britton does, if healthy, he would bolster the need for the current bullpen. His contract is incredibly team friendly. Also, selfishly, I’d love to see him in Dodger Blue. He and his fiancée Eireann Dolan are incredible people and do so much humanitarian work, along with having serious Twitter game.

Being great on Twitter isn’t what it’s about though, it’s about winning the World Series. And as Casey Stern likes to say, “Prospects don’t bring parades.” It’s going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to the trade deadline, and what players the front office deems best to finally get the Dodgers back to the World Series.

(Follow Andy on Twitter: @DodgersAndyInPA)

 

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