Dodgers Rumors: Five Potential 2018 Trade Deadline Targets

herrera

With the non-waiver trade deadline now circling around the six-week mark, it’s probably not too early to talk about some potential deals in which the Dodgers could be interested. Several weeks back, Manny Machado was certainly atop the wish-list of many fans, but while the asking price for Machado will likely be a bit too salty for the Los Angeles front office crew, there are definitely several more under-the-radar type players who could be a better fit.

Pitching upgrades will surely be the targets of the Dodgers—both starting pitchers and relievers. As we all know from years past, and especially this year, there are never too many starting pitching options. Even if five or six quality rotation arms are healthy all at once and guys like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias prove to be ready for the stretch-run, there’s always the option of bumping one or two back to the bullpen, as made evident by the relief success of guys like Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood in previous years.

And, realistically, the Los Angeles offense will only be able to shoulder the load for so long, so quality pitching depth down the stretch will be paramount to the club’s success.

I put together a short list of five players who could be suitable fits for the Dodgers in the second half of 2018. These names are not linked to any credible rumors, but rather are educated guesses for many of the trade candidates which the Dodgers’ execs may be calling about over the coming weeks.

Chris Archer—Seemingly, the Dodgers are linked to Chris Archer almost every summer, but this could finally be the year the Rays decide to part ways with the righty, especially if they are realistic in their asking price. He’s still under team control through 2021, which may be attractive to the Dodgers’ front office, but in the same breath, it may be the biggest factor that keeps his cost out of reach. While it appears that the effectiveness of the 29-year-old has been fading with each passing season, there’s no question he’s a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm, and a change of scenery to a club with playoff aspirations could provide the adrenaline to boost his performance.

Cole Hamels—The Dodgers just saw Cole Hamels on Wednesday night, and while many fans weren’t overly impressed with the four-time All-Star’s outing, the lefty does indeed have something to offer a rotation looking to solidify a spot in the playoffs. His postseason experience speaks for itself—two years with the Rangers and four with the Phillies, including NLCS and World Series MVP honors. What’s more, his leadership qualities both on and off the field may fit in well inside the Dodger clubhouse. The fact that the lefty has a $20 million club option for 2019 makes many pundits believe the under-performing Rangers may want to cash in on a return instead of watching the 34-year-old drift into the sunset. As it may seem like a tall task for the Dodgers to absorb his second-half salary while staying under the luxury tax threshold, it could be done with some strategic maneuvering.

J.A. Happ—It’s hard to believe that J.A. Happ has been around the big leagues for 12 full seasons. Even after all this time, the 35-year-old may have some quality innings left in his arm, but more importantly, his asking price will definitely be more reasonable that any of the two previously mentioned pitchers. And it was just two seasons ago that the lefty posted an impressive 20-4 record with a 3.18 ERA. Happ is slated to enter free agency this winter which may be the main reason the Blue Jays will deal him before the non-waiver deadline passes. One of our special guest writers, Jon Robles, mentioned Happ as a conceivable target for the Dodgers a few weeks back.

Zach Britton—Southpaw Zach Britton was high on the list of many teams last summer, but it was his susceptibility to injuries that prevented anybody from pulling the trigger on the reliever. However, fresh off surgery on his Achilles tendon over the winter, Britton finally made his 2018 debut last Tuesday and appears to be as fresh as ever. Like Happ, Britton is signed only through this year, which could persuade Baltimore to shop him around. If the asking price is reasonable and he throws impressively over the next several weeks, he could fit in well as a setup option for the Dodgers, especially if fellow lefty Tony Cingrani continues to be affected by injury problems.

Kelvin HerreraKelvin Herrera emerged as a premiere closer back in 2016 and his numbers seem to get better as he ages. So far this season, the righty has made 27 appearances and has posted a microscopic 1.05 ERA with 14 saves in the process. Similar to Happ and Britton, the 28-year-old Herrera is set to become a free agent this winter, but he very well may be the best closer who’s on the trade market this summer.

In addition to offering up a few more ideas for outside players who could be potential fits for the team this fall, please be sure to check back frequently over the coming weeks as we’ll try our best to stay on top of all the trade rumors linked to the Dodgers.

 

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33 thoughts on “Dodgers Rumors: Five Potential 2018 Trade Deadline Targets

  1. These kind of posts lead to interesting discussions so I’ll start it off. The Rays obviously waited too long to trade Archer but I think they still feel he has more value than anyone will give them. If we could let them have three or four guys we know will never make it to L.A. (for example Rios (blocked), Alvarez (looks like he’ll never find his way) and a couple of low end guys) I would consider it, but I doubt they would go for that. The Hamels contract, even just what’s left of it this year won’t work unless they take back a contract like Forsythe and they wouldn’t have any reason to want to do that. Happ is interesting but I think there will be at least five or six teams who go after him. Somebody would probably want him more than we do. As I’ve mentioned before, the guy that I find most interesting is Tyson Ross, but there again, a lot of teams will find him interesting. Relief pitchers will be in very high demand and a team that desperately needs a closer would outbid us for Herrera. Britton is interesting but if he looks like the old Britton there will be lots of teams throwing their hat in the ring. Guys like Hand and Iglesias who have more control left on their contracts might be the way to go, but will cost a lot in prospects. Will Friedman be willing to give up good prospects for a guy who wouldn’t even be our closer? Probably not, although the way the game is evolving, I think it would be great to have Kenley/Hand or Kenley/Iglesias as the co-anchors of the bullpen. Kenley’s personality would make him #1 and the other guy could be 1A.

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    1. I think that if they plan on going big, their movement may hinge on an estimate of what they think they’re gonna pay Kenta in incentives. Otherwise, it may be two or so reclamation projects like Chargois or Banuelos. In the end, 2018 may forever be remembered as the year the Dodgers slid under the threshold.

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  2. I honestly wouldn’t mind the Dodgers going after Hamels if it means throwing what’s left of Forsythe’s contract into the deal (maybe even offer a blocked prospect like a Rios as an added sweetener). Archer’s toast as far as his days as a viable big-league starter go. Could have even more value coming out of the pen as a high-leverage reliever, though. Too bad TB waited too damn long to trade him, lol. Happ is another interesting trade option, but the Dodgers already have more than enough southpaws on their roster that are 30-and-over so no thanks.

    As for those relievers mentioned, Herrera’s gonna command a ridiculous king’s ransom so no go there. I actually like Britton and would truly consider him for that 8th inning bridge to Jansen if it turns out Cingrani can’t make it back from his rotator cuff strain in time later this season. The ONE guy I hope the Dodgers take a good long look at in the meantime is currently closing games for Oakland and is peaking at the right time: Blake Treinen. Not sure what the A’s front office would ask for, but he’s the one that could easily fill the late-inning void left by Morrow this past offseason. If the Dodgers do somehow manage to land him first, pretty much all their bullpen woes go away overnight. I kid you not!

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    1. I know you’re a big Treinen fan Manuel and I’d have no problem joining you on the welcome committee, but he’d be subject to the same overpay as some of the other guys. Two years of control left after this year so that would add substantially to the prospect price. That said, Farhan and Billy have a longtime relationship so maybe Billy would feel sorry for us, not having won a WS for so long, and make us a great deal. One last comment, getting Treinen might eliminate most of our late inning uncertainty but with starters going about 5 innings these days that still leaves innings 6,7 and 8 to plug in. Not saying the guys we have now couldn’t do it, but you can’t just assume that Treinen cures everything.

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      1. I know Treinen would cure their 8th-inning anxieties, no problem. As for those 6th and 7th inning holes, Dodgers can mix and match there with what they already have until the next big bang (ha). As for what I would give up for him, depends on what Oakland’s asking in return. I know they can’t ask for too much because like you said, Treinen’s only got two more cost-controlled years left anyway and the longer Oakland holds on to him the less leverage they end up having in any potential deal centered around him for that matter. Besides, both front offices have a solid history of hooking up successfully at the trade deadline so I wouldn’t be surprised if such a deal could be worked out regardless.

        Before I forget, another potential late-inning arm the Dodgers should give a serious look at right now: Kyle Barraclough of the Marlins.I always liked that guy and he’s got the kind of stuff that would make Dodger fans get over Morrow in a heartbeat. If he were to be available, makes me wonder what Miami’s asking price would be…

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  3. As long as we’re reaching for the sky, so to speak, what would you guys give the Mets for either DeGrom or Syndergaard? DeGrom has two years of control after this year and Syndergaard has three.

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  4. I don’t think San Diego will trade Hand, four months after signing him to an extension, if they do, it will not look good from the players perspective. San Diego is trying to build something down there, they seem to be heading in the right direction, a Hand trade would cost them a lot of team chemistry. What player would want to sign with them, if that is how they’re going to be treated. With all of the teams that are looking for starting pitching, or bull pen help, pitching is going to be very costly to trade for this July.

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  5. You would think it would look close to the Sale trade, maybe slightly less. Which means they would want Buehler to head line the trade, I don’t think I would trade Buehler, but four of anyone else, I would probably do.

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    1. Based on what Buehler has shown so far, I would pretty much bet he wouldn’t go in a trade for anyone at this point. Considering how much control he has left, no way they move him, no matter what the return. If the Mets would ask for a Sale-like return (and why wouldn’t they) and we wouldn’t include Buehler, I’m not sure we have the prospects to do a deal. I think Moncada was considered the number 1 prospect in baseball at the time of the Sale trade and Kopech throws 100 mph. Plus they got two other guys. I don’t see where we could match that.

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  6. We have good catching prospects, but I don’t think we could give them the pitching they would want. What kind of value do you think strippling has now?

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  7. Here we go, Ruiz, Verdugo, a pitcher not named Buehler and another player, ranked 12 to 15 from our system. Would that even get you to start talking Jeff?

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    1. If I were Alderson, that would certainly make me sit up and take notice, depending on who the pitcher and other guy were. From the Dodger side, I’m a huge Ruiz fan so I would have a hard time trading him, but I admit I’m probably not thinking logically. The other problem I always have in trading multiple players/prospects for a pitcher (even a great one like DeGrom/Syndergaard) is that these days every pitcher is just one pitch from TJ surgery. It’s a very scary thought to think that you would give away that much and wind up having the pitcher miss more than 1/2 of his time with you because of TJ. That’s just my conservative nature when it comes to this subject. Others of you might be more than happy to roll the dice.

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      1. I would NOT hesitate to give up Ruiz in any deal that nets the Dodgers a key frontline starter for the playoff stretch. He may have future All-Star potential from an offensive standpoint, but he’s at least two years away and isn’t really the ideal catcher for this current Dodger ballclub long-term (not versatile enough defensively, unlike fellow C prospect Will Smith who I DO like quite a bit and should be off-limits). Matter of fact, any Top 100 MLB prospect the Dodgers have right now (with the exception of OF DJ Peters, that one I’d hold on to in case Yasiel Puig is not kept beyond this year) could definitely be had for the right price as the trade deadline nears. Landing a Sale would be great, but I gotta strong feeling deGrom is the one that the Dodgers should have at the top of their list as far as acquiring a starter goes. He’s got the same bulldog mentality that I’ve already seen in Buehler and Stripling, but can’t get a lick of run support from his own ballclub this season. Just imagine him in Dodger blue with the way the offense has been clicking right now, plus there’s NO guarantee Kershaw ever comes back to being the ace he once was (if he even comes back at all at this point)…

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  8. First thing, concerning Ruiz I agree with you about not wanting to trade him, but you don’t get that kind of pitching without it hurting pretty badly. Secondly we’re just having a little fun here, I seriously doubt the FO would decimate the farm system to make this type of a trade. I could see these guys getting traded in separate deals, over a longer period of time, not one big block buster trade.

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  9. Saying all of that, the Mets, as bad as they look right now, should be listening to other teams on one or both of those guys. The Nats look strong, and with the Braves, and Phillies, on the rise the Mets may be closer to a rebuild than a playoff spot. Looks like Thier window is closing.

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    1. The Braves and Phillies will only get better in the next few years and the Nats, even without Harper, still look very strong. This is the perfect time for a Mets rebuild and the first step should be to replace Alderson. Actually the step before that should be to replace the owners. A city the size of New York deserves to have an owner with enough money to support the team. The Wilpons lost a fortune in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme and still haven’t recovered.

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  10. Rich Hill pitched a rehab game at RC tonight. 4.2 innings, 2 unearned runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 10 k’s. Looks like the curve ball must have been pretty sharp. Hope it didn’t cause a blister. If he came out of tonight in good shape, we should be seeing him back in the rotation pretty soon. Friedman says that he expects most everyone back after the A.S. game and that would mean no urgent need to trade for a starter. Imagine, by August 1st our starting 5 could be Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, Buehler, Stripling. Wait, that’s 7…………………..wouldn’t it be great to be so fortunate.

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  11. Hill has had so much trouble staying in the line up this season, it’s easy to forget how dominant he can be with that curve ball when he is right. If we can be lucky enough to get those guys back Andrew and company can work on strengthening the bull pen, which has been pretty good lately.

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    1. Duquette was GM of the Mets for a season but I’m not sure that qualifies him as an expert. I also think it would take Buehler (because of very strong offers from other teams) and that would make it a non-starter for me. Verdugo, no problem in a deGrom trade. I have no clue why anyone would want Yadi at this point when there must be at least 1/2 dozen other Dodger prospects who have a much better future on the mound. Kendall is a source of frustration to me. I know the front office thought/thinks highly of him, but all I see so far is a good fielder with lots of speed who doesn’t make contact often enough. They knew this when they drafted him and I guess they thought they could fix him, but only time will tell. I guess what I’m saying here is that I would be very surprised if deGrom is wearing a Dodger uni in July. I’m guessing the Red Sox, Yanks, Phils, Braves and Cubs all have a better shot at him. All of that with the assumption that the Dodger front office agrees with me about not including Buehler. If Santana hadn’t gotten hurt, we could be looking at a different story.

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      1. Yeah, no way they deal Buehler. I’m not saying he’s gonna be an ace, but the potential is definitely there. More importantly, just think of all those years of team control. And he already had one round of UCL surgery.

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      2. SF throwing lefties at us this weekend. Not a bad idea to have another righty bat on the bench. He might even get a start, but unless he goes crazy with the bat, I’m guessing he’s back to OKC on Monday and a bullpen guy will meet the team in Chicago.

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      3. I guess that probably means Valera goes back to OKC and Ferguson will head back when Hill comes back on Tues.

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  12. Everything is right in the world, after the dodgers beat the giants, especially when my son in law is from NorCal, and a giants fan.

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    1. Let’s hope he doesn’t have the last laugh Keith. Madbum vs. Wood today and Ferguson tomorrow. I really hope Wood can get back on track. If he has another poor outing, I’m expecting a trip to the DL. Ferguson made good progress from start 1 to start 2. Hopefully start 3 is better still.

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  13. Mad bum has been a little rusty so far, let’s hope it takes him at least one more outing before he starts putting it back together.

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