Though it’s been several days since we’ve discussed any rumors surrounding the Dodgers and the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, there hasn’t been a shortage of hypothetical theories from pundits around the game, despite a handful believing Los Angeles is so deep that the club may decide to not upgrade at all.
Early last week, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Dodgers were open to dealing right-handed relief pitchers Sergio Romo and Brandon Morrow over the coming weeks. Of course, Romo was ultimately designated for assignment on Thursday to create roster space for lefty Grant Dayton. Two days after the move, Los Angeles struck a deal with the Rays, as they will send Romo and cash to Tampa for a player to be named later and/or cash back. There haven’t been many whispers about Morrow, although in her column yesterday, Andy highlighted a few reasons why it may be beneficial to retain the veteran’s services moving forward.
According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, representatives from the Dodgers’ camp were in attendance at Tropicana Field on Friday night to see Texas righty Yu Darvish throw against the Rays. Darvish impressed all those on hand, pitching a full eight innings with 12 strikeouts while surrendering three earned runs on five hits. For the season, the 30-year-old Osaka native has posted a 6-8 record and a 3.44 ERA with 143 strikeouts over 133-1/3 innings of work. Even though Darvish is headed for free agency at the end of the 2017 campaign, many experts believe the Rangers will still attempt to get a hefty return in a prospective deal, if the right-handed is indeed moved.
Also on Thursday, we put together a story regarding the Dodgers’ interest in Baltimore relief pitcher Zach Britton, making note of several reasons why Los Angeles should aggressively pursue the southpaw before the July 31 deadline. Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles in a deal, though, could be the concern of Britton’s past forearm strain, which up until recently kept him on the disabled list for more than two months. Britton hasn’t pitched on consecutive days since being reinstated on July 2. In the same breath, we also mentioned the rumors about the Orioles presumably being interested in all three of Walker Buehler, Yadier Alvarez and Alex Verdugo in some type of return package.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports composed an article recently indicating the Dodgers’ interest in San Diego left-hander Brad Hand, however, the first name which the Padres countered with was Verdugo, which apparently have brought the discussion to an impasse. Hand has a 2.16 ERA with a 2.67 FIP and 65 strikeouts over an even 50 innings and 45 appearances this season.
On Saturday morning, Buster Olney of ESPN reported that Los Angeles is looking into a potential deal with the Mets to acquire righty reliever Addison Reed. The 28-year-old Montclair native has a career 3.38 ERA and 9.4 K/9 over seven big league seasons, and has tallied a 2.35 ERA and a 2.91 FIP with 47 strikeouts in an even 46 innings this season.
Scouts from the Dodgers have also been watching Oakland righty starter Sonny Gray recently, most specifically last Friday night against Cleveland at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. In the affair, Gray worked six innings and didn’t allow a runner past second base as the A’s cruised to a 5-0 win. Over the entirety of 2017, Gray has made 15 starts and has put up a 6-4 record with a 3.66 ERA and 85 punchouts over 91 innings pitched. After a 2016 campaign that was hampered by injuries, Gray opened 2017 on the DL with a strained lat.
Not long before the trade deadline last year, the Dodgers acquired veteran starter Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick from the Athletics in exchange for three pitching prospects — Frankie Montas, Jharel Cotton and Grant Holmes.
Many who were familiar with the particulars of the deal believed it was GM Farhan Zaidi’s close relationship with Oakland boss Billy Beane that eventually facilitated the trade.
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