Contemplating Two of the Biggest Trade Rumors Linked to Dodgers

manny-machado (1)
(CBS Sports photo)

Welcome to July! The month of July means a lot of things in baseball. It’s when the division race starts to take shape. It’s when potential MVP Candidates and Cy Young Award hopefuls start to become clear (I’m looking at you, Matt Kemp and Ross Stripling) and it’s when pennant-winning trades start to happen.

As expected, the Dodgers are at the center of nearly every big name being thrown into the mix.

As the season has progressed, more and more names have been reported as potential trade targets for various contenders. Most of these names have come from American League teams—guys like Manny Machado, J.A Happ, and Cole Hamels. The NL, however, has it’s fair share of sellers, like the Marlins and (potentially) the Cincinnati Reds.

So, as we embark on a wild month that is sure to be filled with great baseball, let’s take a look two trade targets for the Dodgers and how realistic they actually are.

Manny Machado—INF, Baltimore Orioles

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? Manny Machado is a name that has been linked to pretty much every contender over the past month—most notably, the Phillies and the Dodgers. It’s no secret that Machado is an elite, All-Star player. This season alone, he’s hit 21 home runs and boasts a .310 average.  Baltimore, who currently stands 31.5 games out of first in the AL East, are going to be trading as many guys as they can. I mean, with the way the Yankees and Red Sox are dominating, the Orioles are in the perfect place to sell and bring in prospects that will make them the dominant ones in 3-5 years. Machado, it seems, will be one of those saying their goodbyes to Camden Yards.

When it comes to the Dodgers potentially acquiring the three-time All-Star, I’m all for it. Though Justin Turner and Chris Taylor have got it handled at third and short, the two positions Machado can play, the Dodgers need another bat in the lineup. Since we’re not in the American League, the Dodgers can’t simply acquire Machado as a DH, they’re going to have to make some moves. So, I guess it’s not a bad thing that Machado is one of the best defenders in the game right now. I would be all for Zaidi and Freedman trading for this guy because it means that Taylor would play almost exclusively in the outfield, giving the team more depth out there.

Though it may seem far-fetched and a little unrealistic at times, Machado to the Dodgers is perfectly possible. They have the prospects and they have the need. Though Machado would be a rental, since he hits the free agent market this winter, a few months of him may be enough to get the Dodgers that World Series ring they are ferociously chasing.

Michael Fulmer—RHP, Detroit Tigers

I’ve said it since the beginning of the off-season, and I stand by it; the Dodgers should trade for Michael Fulmer. He’s been a little shaky this season, but I don’t really see that as a cause for worry since the Dodgers have one of the best coaching and analytic staffs in the game. Fulmer isn’t going to be a free agent until 2023 and stands as Corey Seager‘s ROY counterpart in the American League.

Here’s the thing with Fulmer, or rather, the Tigers. Bringing Fulmer to L.A. will cost the Dodgers nearly the same number of prospects that it’ll take to get Machado here, and chances are a few of those names will overlap.

The question isn’t whether or not the Dodgers need both Fulmer and Machado—I think they do—but rather whether or not they can afford both without completely emptying their farm system.

These are just two names that have been linked to the Dodgers. Knowing the front office, they’re probably going to trade for someone that has flown under the radar all season, and turn them into an All-Star.

That said, I think it’s time the Dodgers take a page from part-owner of the team, and Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, and bring some more star power to Los Angeles.

 

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18 thoughts on “Contemplating Two of the Biggest Trade Rumors Linked to Dodgers

  1. Sarah, a couple of weeks ago I was all in on the Manny train, but seeing Taylor back healthy, and Muncy at second, is starting to make me think we could do this in house. For the OF depth your looking for there is Toles, and Verdugo down at triple a. I think they could give us what we need depth wise. As for Fulmer, he is struggling this season, but if our staff thinks they can fix him, that would be the way to go, between these two.

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  2. You can cross Machado off that list. Dodgers don’t need him this season (probably don’t need him at all, to be honest). Chris Taylor’s already proving himself to be one of the best all-around players at SS and Kike’ Hernandez might very well be the best defensive option there and he’s finally coming into his own offensively this season. And let’s not forget they currently have one of the top SS prospects in the minors in Gavin Lux who’s about a year and a half away from seeing any big-league action (unless he finally figures out lefties down there, then his ETA becomes that much shorter). Oh, and we haven’t even brought up Corey Seager as a still-viable SS option for next year. However, I think he’d greatly benefit from a position change after what happened to his throwing arm dating back to last year.

    Now Fulmer’s intriguing because at one time the Tigers were rumored to be interested in flipping him for Dodger top OF prospect Alex Verdugo, but I’m not so sure anymore. He would certainly give the Dodgers a younger, more cost-controlled option in that rotation compared to Yu Darvish last season and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt can definitely bring out the rest of his dormant potential the moment he gets his hands on him. Only real problem is the Dodgers have a BULLPEN issue, not necessarily a starting pitching one. Still, should the Dodgers end up landing him somehow without touching any of their key prospects that they do have long-term plans for (as is Andrew Friedman’s M.O.) then it’s even more likely one of those Dodger starters who currently has trouble getting past the 5th inning consistently could find himself beefing up the bullpen ranks down the stretch instead and would resolve that issue short-term at least.

    I do agree with you Sarah on one thing: the Dodgers DO need another bat in that lineup and I know exactly where the front office needs to narrow its focus. Hint: this guy is arguably the best young C in MLB this year and has already voiced his displeasure in playing on a non-contending ballclub earlier this season. Same ballclub might also have the bullpen help the Dodgers sorely need to get back in the WS picture as well. Two birds with one stone right there??? That said, they should also give Oakland and Texas a good long look for relief help while they’re at it. Oakland’s got quality in Blake Treinen. Texas has quantity in Keone Kela and Jake Diekman. Either club would also do in a pinch on that end, truthfully speaking…

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    1. Hey Manuel. Looks like I repeated half of your take without even realizing it. I started commenting, left my computer and never saw your post before I submitted mine. What do you know about Lux? I know he was a first rounder but I never paid much attention to him until the last few weeks. He’s absolutely on fire. Do you think he’s a trade chip or someone Friedman would like to cultivate into a permanent infield regular?

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      1. Jeff, I’ve been onto Lux since he entered pro-ball nearly two years to this day and he has indeed broken out offensively this year for high-A Rancho thanks to much-improved strength and conditioning on his part. He’s even begun to tap into his power more consistently as well, which has been a pleasant surprise. Only knocks on him at the moment have to do with getting his throwing mechanics fully straightened out (main reason why there was serious talk of him possibly moving over to 2B, but he has throwing issues there as well) in addition to not hitting lefties consistently enough (.189 avg against so far down there, NOT gonna cut it at the next level). Otherwise, he’d have been at AA Tulsa by now.

        Truthfully speaking, I see him as potential trade bait since fellow Rancho teammate Rylan Bannon has pretty much locked down the future long-term 2B position for the time being and Lux would be thoroughly blocked at SS anyway with Chris Taylor, Kike’ Hernandez, and even a rehabbing Corey Seager (if he’s still in that mix) well ahead of him on the depth chart. Only way I see the Dodgers holding onto him is if his throwing issues in the middle infield triggers an eventual move to the OF where his bat, foot speed, arm strength, and glove at the very least would play just fine out there. Kid’s got the tools to play virtually anywhere on that field, come to think of it…meh, still comes off as a key bargaining chip for the Dodgers with all of that said. I’d rather save him for a possible Realmuto trade package at this point…

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      2. Thanks for the insight on Lux. Based on your reply I’m going to move him to the trade chip side and keep a spot open at second for Bannon, as I’m a big fan of his. Boy, I sure wouldn’t want to be across the negotiating table from you. I could just imagine you calling the Marlins and saying “I’m getting Realmuto and I’m not hanging up until you trade him to me!” You are a very persistent guy. If Realmuto and deGrom would cost you the exact same prospects, would you rather have Realmuto? I think I’d go for deGrom because a real pitching ace is very hard to come by and we have so many good catchers in the system. They both have two years of control remaining after this year.

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      3. Haha, yeah you wouldn’t last long at that negotiating table if I was there. As for your question, STILL standing by Realmuto and here’s why: he makes a pitching staff comfortable when he’s handling them. That’s huge for young pitchers like the ones the Marlins have been trotting out there this season. Now picture him handling the likes of a Walker Buehler or a Caleb Ferguson in that Dodger rotation, there wouldn’t be any real need to go after deGrom at that point. Speaking of deGrom, I still say it’s in the Mets’ absolute BEST interest to hold onto him along with their other three young starters (Syndergaard, Wheeler, and Matz) for the long haul. No matter what they get back should they end up dealing him outright this month, it will never truly amount to what they could’ve had with him if they would’ve just held onto him from the get-go. Besides, having aces in your rotation is nice and all but in this day and age you can’t go all the way if you don’t CLOSE THE DEAL! No pen, NO WIN…

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  3. I agree with Keith. If given the choice I would go for Fulmer over Machado, but I’m not sure I would try for either of them. No one would argue that Machado is a great player but I think we have to weigh need, prospects to acquire, and displacement of other players we already have before deciding we want to make a trade like this. Someone pointed out on another site the other day that Machado’s defensive metrics for this year are among the worst in baseball for shortstops. This could certainly be an aberration and by itself wouldn’t stop me from making the trade, but if that means moving Taylor to the outfield, we then have Kemp, Joc, Puig, Taylor and Kike here in L.A., and Toles and Verdugo killing it at OKC. Where do we put them all, even assuming one of them might go to Baltimore? If position players was our main need, I might make the trade anyway, but I think it’s more productive to spend prospects on the bullpen and, if possible, deGrom. Depending on what the Tigers are asking for Fulmer, I might think about him after getting a couple of strong relievers, but I would rather go for broke and see what it would take to get deGrom, who without question is an ace. With regard to those prospects, one guy I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned lately is Gavin Lux who is having a great year at Rancho. I think we should add him to our list of guys who might bring something very worthwhile if included in a package, unless the front office has decided that they want to put him on their list of players they just don’t want to trade and have thoughts of putting him at second base in the future.

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    1. Agreed. And he shouldn’t cost as much as Treinen, although I wouldn’t mind having both of them. Still has two years of control after this year as does Treinen. The only difference is that the Rangers will admit their season is finished whereas the A’s may still think they have an outside chance at the playoffs.

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      1. How rude! I wonder how much less it would take for Syndergaard? Or if his injuries would make him hands off for Friedman?

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    1. If I’m reading correctly deGrom would be controlled for 2.5 years, but Buehler has 5.5 years. So even at 2.5 years of control for deGrom I wouldn’t include Buehler.

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  4. Treinen, and Kela, getting a little greedy there, Dennis, I’m on board, let’s go for both of them. So you don’t think our starters can win a WS. Is it health, or performance you’re worried about?

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