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.