4 More Players Dodgers Could Pursue at 2018 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline

Keone Kela
(NBC Sports photo)

While some fans of the Dodgers believe the club should pursue offensive help as the summer trade deadlines approach, I’m still among those who believe that pitching—most specifically several upgrades in the bullpen—are necessary to make a run at the 2018 postseason. Yes, the team has struggled with the lumber in the weekend series against the Rockies, but I still feel there’s enough firepower on the 25-man roster to do the job scoring runs.

And while the relief corps is the biggest need, the team could also benefit greatly from a top-of-the-line starter. When considering all of the arms that have recently become healthy, the best combination still may not be good enough to advance deeply into the playoffs, should the club advance that far. As we all know, starting pitching goes a long way in the postseason, and even if the best four starting arms on the Dodgers are healthy, they still may not be good enough to run the entire gamut.

Just in case you missed it, a few weeks back I jotted down five players whom I thought could potentially fit in with Los Angeles, and since that time, one of those players—former Royals’ closer Kelvin Herrera—has been snatched up by the Nationals. Today, I’m going to focus mainly on the bullpen and reveal another set of players that could conceivably fit in well with the Boys in Blue.

Blake Treinen—One of our most loyal readers, Manuel, has brought up Oakland closer Blake Treinen multiple times this year, and there’s no doubt that the Dodgers would benefit tremendously by gaining the services of the 30-year-old righty. The problem is that I’m really not sure if the Athletics intend to be sellers at the deadline. Right now, they’re sitting at 46-38, and although the Astros are running away with the division, Oakland may still be in a good spot to contend for a Wild Card berth. Regardless, Treinen’s ridiculous 0.89 ERA and 1.98 FIP make him one of the best closers in baseball, and there’s no doubt he could fit well into the setup role the Dodgers so desperately need—if Oakland decides they want to sell.

Keone Kela—In the basement of the AL West with a 3-46 record, things are not looking bright at all for the Rangers. We’ve already mentioned they’re likely to deal veteran starter Cole Hamels, but if the team is serious about scoring a slew of blue-chip prospects, they may also consider dealing closer Keone Kela. The 25-year-old righty has posted 20 saves in 20 chances with a 2.65 FIP and 36 punchouts over an even 29 innings this year, but, most importantly, his salary is just $1.2 million in 2018 and he’s under team control through 2021—all factors which should sound appealing to Andrew Friedman and his troops. Undeniably, the price would be high, but the Dodgers definitely have the resources to deal.

Brad BrachBrad Brach‘s numbers aren’t overwhelming by any means, but when considering about half of the Dodgers’ internal options right now, he’s probably a significant upgrade, especially in a middle-inning capacity. Through May 1, the 32-year-old righty posted a 6.55 ERA, but in his 22 appearances since, he has tallied seven saves with a respectable 2.11 ERA and 20 punchouts over 21-1/3 frames. At $5.165 million, his salary is a bit lofty for the Dodgers to absorb while staying under the threshold, but if Los Angeles could send back a few million dollars in salary to the Orioles by way of another player, a trade could work.

Jeurys Familia—The Mets have said in previous seasons that they were unwilling to deal hard-throwing righty Jeurys Familia; however, things have gone so bad for them recently that they may want to consider their personnel strategies. Indeed, there are quite a few factors that flash red flags, though, most specifically the shoulder soreness that kept the 28-year-old on the DL for almost 10 days earlier in June. Furthermore, his salary is nearly $8 million this season, which would be tough for the Dodgers to fit under the threshold. His recent implosion against the Pirates last Wednesday may deter rival clubs even more from pursuing him, but considering his arsenal and how well he’s capable of throwing, a meaningful venue could be enough for a team like the Dodgers to roll the dice.

With exactly four weeks left on the clock before the non-waiver deadline, things on the trade front are about to get crazy, and the Dodgers are likely to be right in the middle of it. Stay tuned tomorrow as we plan to discuss several of the possible candidates which Los Angeles may conceivably trade away in efforts to upgrade the roster.



11 thoughts on “4 More Players Dodgers Could Pursue at 2018 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline

  1. Yes, it would certainly be great to have Machado or deGrom but I agree with most of us here that the bullpen should be priority number one. When we go hunting, I think we need to value quality, health and consistency when we evaluate potential acquisitions. Most every guy in our bullpen presently has pitched very well…………………..on occasion. Problem is the lack of consistency. Due to health and consistency concerns, I am not high on either Familia or Brach. I would be happy with Treinen, Kela or Iglesias and each of those 3 has a couple of years control after this one. I’m sure there are others which the front office is looking at as well. I’m also in favor of making a deal sooner than later before someone else beats us to the punch. The price on the three guys I mentioned will only go up as the trade deadline gets closer. Make a strong offer on each of the above three guys now and close the deal with whichever team says yes first.

  2. I honestly don’t see Oakland staying in the playoff race even though they’re playing fairly well right now. They just don’t have enough horses to contend with the “super” teams in that league (and one of those WC spots is definitely gonna come out of that AL East for that matter). Treinen’s still my No. 1 guy not only because Oakland might not want to pony up to keep him come arbitration time this winter, they’re already grooming this young stud RHP by the name of Lou Trivino (nasty mid-90s slider, yeah I said mid-90s SLIDER folks!) for that future closer role this season. That could very well make Treinen available to a team hungry for 8th-inning help like the Dodgers right now. Besides, Oakland and LA usually get along nicely around the trade deadline if past history still means anything…

    Other relief arms that I’d add to your list are Kyle Barraclough of the Marlins (my No. 2 guy, quiet as kept), Jake Diekman of the Rangers, and Shane Greene of the Tigers. Was also thinking of Raisel Iglesias of the Reds (another trade partner Dodgers traditionally have worked well with, btw), but he might be a little too rich for my blood if I were Andrew Friedman. Of the four on your list Dennis, Kela’s the one that Friedman could ultimately settle for if not Treinen. His stuff’s obviously high-leverage relief-worthy, so he’d be an ideal fit in that 8th-inning set-up role. Plus his ability to close out games at the rate he’s been on this season would make him an excellent option in the 9th if only to keep Jansen fresh for the long haul.

  3. The dodgers have the best team in the nl,they need to quit swinging at balls and letting strikes go by and I think there pitching will come around they never should have gotten rid of morrow,he had a he’ll of a year but they do need one more good reliever and possible a good bat get dodgers.

  4. Manuel, you’ll be happy to know that according to reports, the front office is talking to the Marlins about your friend Barraclough, along with two other young relievers. You may yet get your wish.
    Changing the subject, Roberts pretty much admitted today that Muncy is the regular second baseman. That’s great! What is scary is the kind of bench we have when we face a right handed pitcher. Kike, Utley, Forsythe, Barnes. Kike, whatever his batting average is well worth having for a million different reasons. On the other hand, if late in the game we have to send up as pinch hitters Forsythe (.203), Barnes (.217) or Utley (.225), we have a problem. In fairness to the Silver Fox, he has been somewhat effective as a pinch hitter this year, but we don’t know how long that will last, and we no longer need him as a starter against right handers. Toles and Verdugo are killing the ball at OKC and we are keeping them down there while we maintain a bench spot for Forsythe. Yes, I know they play different positions, but it would be nice to send up someone late in the game who actually had a chance to deliver an important hit.

  5. We don’t have anybody in our system, who can do what Morrow did for us last year. Somehow the front office will have to fix that, but I still think it will take something more than that, to get the team back deep into the play offs. I’m with manny, I like Treinen, but the last time we dealt with billy it cost us three pretty good pitching prospects. I’m cringing just thinking about what he would get from us in this deal.

    1. Speaking of those three “pretty good” pitching prospects, are any of them at the level of a Walker Buehler, a Julio Urias (when healthy), or even a Caleb Ferguson by any chance??? Last time I checked, Rich Hill’s still getting the job done (especially now that he’s finally found a way around his annoying blister problem, lol). Speaking of Beane, how much do you think he’s kicking himself these days for giving up way too soon on an All-Star level talent like Max Muncy? Yeah, I seriously wonder who’s doing the cringing now…

  6. I’m not talking about Buehler, I don’t know why you even brought him into the conversation, and at the time Urias was untouchable. I’m not talking about how every one is doing now. I’m just saying at the time of the trade, those three starting pitching prospects were thought of as good prospects in our system, not our very top prospects but good prospects, I don’t think the A’s are going to trade Treinen without making it hurt a little. But I’m with you, I’d love to see him playing in L.A.

    1. Keith, you need to chill already. Unlike you, I don’t dwell on past deals because the fact of the matter is you still gotta give up quality to get quality in this business. Now in terms of that Rich Hill deal, that actually worked out better than expected for both sides and that’s the way it ought to be most of the time anyway. To be honest here, I’m not all that high on the current Top 5 prospects in the Dodger farm system and would gladly part with at least one of ’em if it meant getting a key bullpen arm like Treinen for that matter. No pain, NO GAIN!

  7. The Astros aren’t exactly running away with the American League West with only a half-game lead over the Mariners (probably a game-and-half lead when this column was written).

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