Dodgers Rumors: More on the Trade Deadline & the Remaining Top Prospects

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(Photo Credit: Jeremey Davis)

Now that most of the smoke has cleared around Tuesday’s Manny Machado deal, the front office crew of the Dodgers is likely considering its next roster move, as the non-waiver trade deadline is now inside the two-week window.

I happen to like the Machado trade very much, as I think it’s beneficial to both sides. Although I never saw him play in person, I was always a big fan of Yusniel Diaz, primarily for the possession of multiple tools and an extremely high ceiling. And I happened to develop an affinity for Zach Pop over the last few weeks, mainly because he could touch triple digits with his heater, plus the fact that his ERA was a ridiculous 0.33 during his time at Rancho this year. But sacrifices are needed to land the biggest hauls, and Los Angeles certainly scored a gem in Machado, even if it’s only for the duration of the 2018 campaign. And, perhaps more significantly, as Andy pointed out in her story yesterday, Andrew Friedman and his crew seemingly went against their previously practiced philosophies of hoarding prospects and not making huge splashes, which indicates they could make more moves to improve the club’s chances in the postseason.

Diaz was a Top 10 prospect on the Los Angeles farm, but the other three youngsters were right around the fringe of the Top 30. And Breyvic Valera is certainly major-league ready, having the ability to immediately slot into the Baltimore infield scheme. So, although the Dodgers didn’t really lose too much in terms of their elite talent on the farm, they did surrender a few quality arms in Pop and Dean Kremer, which was surprising after considering how much the organizational pitching talent has thinned out in recent years.

Despite everything, in terms of the talent remaining on the farm, there is certainly a ton. What’s more, the minor league outfield is loaded, as four of the Top 15 prospects—Alex Verdugo, DJ Peters, Jeren Kendall and Starling Heredia—consist of another group which is loaded with tools. In addition to the outfield crew, the stock of catchers the Dodgers have on the farm—Kyle farmer, Will Smith, Keibert Ruiz and Connor Wong—is far and away the best in baseball. Consequently, with all the talent that’s still available, Los Angeles is in a position to make a huge splash with a prospective bullpen addition, so long as they can strategically remain beneath the luxury tax threshold.

Verdugo is interesting in the sense that he’s been one of the most sought-after trade acquisitions by rival clubs over the past few seasons. With Yasiel Puig on the shelf dealing with oblique problems, many thought Verdugo would get the big league promotion; however, it was Andrew Toles who ultimately got the nod. With that in mind, the number of outfielders blocking Verdugo from making a home in the bigs is quite lengthy. There’s Toles, Puig (when healthy), Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger (conceivably, with the arrival of Machado), along with part-timers Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez. And nobody’s really going anywhere anytime soon, with the exception of maybe Kemp and Puig, who can theoretically become free agents at the end of the 2019 season.

That being said, Verdugo could be at the top of the expenditure list, as some pundits actually believe he has a higher value than Pederson. Or, in theory, it could even be Toles possibly packaged up with one of the aforementioned catching prospects. Regardless, there seems to be no limits on more roster acquisitions, so long as management can keep the payroll beneath the threshold. Even so, although it’s somewhat unlikely, the front office crew may be able to find a way to get creative and convince another club to assume one of the Dodgers’ lofty veteran-player contracts.

And while many fans seem very content with the landscape of the team after scoring Machado, pitching is the name of the game right now, and whether or not the Dodgers add one or two legitimate arms to the pitching staff could hypothetically dictate how long the remainder of the season lasts.


47 thoughts on “Dodgers Rumors: More on the Trade Deadline & the Remaining Top Prospects

  1. Verdugo is absolutely killing it at OKC. I would much rather have him than Joc but I think his trade value is also a lot higher. Do you all agree with that statement or is their value closer than I think it is? We obviously have an oversupply of outfielders at this point and I don’t see any way we don’t trade off one or two of them in the next couple of weeks. Question is who? Now that I seem to have at least a few of you convinced we should go after Vazquez, does Verdugo and Lux get it done? Too much? How about Joc and Wood?

    1. I may be the last person who knows what he’s talking about, but I’ve heard quite a few complaints about Verdugo’s demeanor, attitude and professionalism. Those factors could possibly be holding him back. Still, his tools are fantastic. In term of skills alone, I definitely think he ranks higher than Joc.

      1. I know those complaints were following him around in past years. Are you still hearing that about him or is it possible that with age it’s gotten better?

      2. Verdugo definitely ranks higher than Pederson in value because unlike the latter, he doesn’t struggle against southpaws (neither does Toles, for that matter). That said, there’s no room for him on this current Dodger roster anymore after the major acquisition of Machado the other day so the sooner the Dodgers trade him the better the return. Like I said in the other comment thread, I wouldn’t mind throwing Verdugo in a deal if it meant getting back a bullpen arm on the level of a Felipe Vazquez for instance. Friedman and Co will have much to chew on as the non-waiver deadline crawls ever closer, but I’m confident they’ll end up providing the parent club with the quality arms needed to get their pitching staff shored up in time for the playoff stretch.

  2. I would hope Verdugo and somebody less than Lux would do it Jeff. But … I don’t see anybody but us talkin Vasquez. Names today are Britton, Familia, Yates, Stammen and Iglesias. Britton apparently is back to his normal self. I’m sure FAZ has their own favorites and we may not know who until the deal is done. Most apparently think the Metz ain’t dealing pitching, so, I’m dreaming. Have to wait and see.

    Looks like rain in Milwaukee, not that hot, warm in Philly, probably muggy, hot and muggy in Atlanta. Tough 10 days on the road starting tomorrow, with no rest after a cross country Sunday flight back from Georgia – Milwaukee at home for four, then Houston. Brutal. With 17 straight I expect some pitching DL dancing similar to what we saw last year.

    1. The upcoming schedule is absolutely ridiculous, not only the 17 straight days, but every team we play is a good one. The D’backs have some of the same opponents but where they differ, our schedule is the tougher one. I haven’t even checked the Rockies and Giants but we had better remember they’re by no means out of it. Now that we have Machado, we could trade for Scherzer, deGrom and Mike Trout and it still isn’t going to be easy.

      1. After making you sit through that kind of weather Dennis, they had better win at least 2 out of 3. And Wednesday’s game starts at 12:35 your time. Ugh. Our bullpen will be in tatters by the time these guys get back home.

      2. In Milwaukee, it’s gonna be Hill, Kersh and Wood, in that order. Skip wouldn’t commit beyond that. Not sure if we’ll see a six-man rotation or not. I sure would love to see Buehler throw in person, though.

  3. Pederson may not have the value of verdugo, but he has been doing good enough to be mentioned in some trade rumors, so he must have some value. Last year not so much. Do any of you guys think we could strengthen the bull pen enough to stay with our in house starters, and not need to make a deal for one?

    1. If we hadn’t started Darvish in the Series last year one could make a good argument that we would have won. This year we’ve added Buehler, Wood and Hill are not as reliable and Stripling is better. Yes, it would certainly help to have deGrom or a healthy Thor, but other than that I don’t see anyone else out there who improves what we already have. If the Mets actually trade either of those guys we probably use most of the prospects we would need to upgrade the bullpen. Why is life so difficult?

      1. I agree that there isn’t a logical rotation upgrade available right now. Gerrit Cole just so happened to be the guy that would have done it. And by landing Cole, that could have pushed somebody like Woody to the pen.

  4. That’s were I was trying to go with this, besides the Mets guys I’m not sure if any of the other starters available are any better than what we have, so maybe it’s better to go all in on the bull pen, and hope for the best.

  5. There might be somebody not being talked about yet, but with each passing day that becomes less likely.

    It’s my opinion we lost Game 7 at home because the offense laid an egg. Yeah, Darvish stunk it up, but we had 8 innings to catch up and the all or nothing offense did the nothing. This is, in my opinion, one of our weaknesses. I believe the steady bat of Machado will help that. He hasn’t had a bad month yet this year. This is a guy who, unlike most of our guys, carries a good batting average with his great OPS.

  6. I bet by the end of the season we will all be trying to figure out how to fit machado in next season. Probably begging Andrew to give him his money he wants.

  7. For those who care, it looks like Manny will be wearing number 8 and Max can keep his number. They are showing jerseys online with number 8. Kenley made a statement the other day that Machado should get his old number 13 and he would give Max a “nice tip” to give up the number. We shall see how this plays out.

  8. That Vargas kid is at it again folks, 2-2 so far tonight for Ogden. He already has 40 hits IN 21 GAMES this season! My goodness, Dodgers are gonna have to move him up quickly just to keep him challenged at the very least. I take it you’ll leave no stone unturned in your upcoming write-up on him, Dennis?

    1. Sounds tempting, but you’re the one with the “connections” Dennis. You can get the kind of dirt on him that part-time beat writers like myself can only dream of. I’ll leave this one in your more-than-capable hands, buddy. I already assigned myself to doing the weekly minor-league updates on the Dodger farm system in general. Still, there’s something about that kid in particular…

      1. Sounds good. I’ll try to have something ready for Saturday, as long as something else breaking doesn’t go down. Andy says she’s working on a Brewers preview for tomorrow.

      2. Unless Vazquez or Barraclough has just been dealt to the Dodgers, I seriously doubt you’ll be side-tracked between now and Saturday (lol). Besides, I can’t start doing my write-up until this upcoming Sunday. Gonna be pretty in-depth, might even give the AZL Dodgers some love if there’s anybody of note on rehab or a recent draft signing currently getting work in down there (like 1B Meaux Landry, for instance). Should have it done no later than Tuesday morning next week. If all goes well, consider it a future staple of your blog as a thank-you gift for bringing me on board buddy.

      3. Go Meaux! Be sure to let us know when he hits his first 500 ft. homer Manuel.

      4. Consider it DONE, Jeff! Too bad those games can’t be audio streamed on the MiLB site. They ought to consider doing so at some point, but that’s merely my 2 cents on the matter.

      5. Sometimes I’m able to get audio by streaming on AM radio, when it’s available. They often do it during they playoffs. Then you have audio to go with the Gamecast.

      6. Thanks again for the heads-up, Dennis. See if I can tune in to any on my end fairly soon…

  9. As we all realize, we have too many outfielders and I’m sure the front office will be doing something about that shortly. In the meanwhile, they have optioned Toles to OKC.

  10. An outfielder will be moved for pitching. It’s the next, most logical move.

    Was just perusing the Dodgers Top Prospects list from years past. Interesting read. From around 12 years ago, after the name Clayton Kershaw came names like Andy La Roche, Joel Guzman, Blake DeWitt, Andrew Lambo, James McDonald, Jonathan Meloan, Chin Lung Hu, Chris Withrow. The names change of course but the message is the same – most in the Top 10 every year don’t really make it. What I take from that is … ID the Kershaw’s and the rest of them are trade bait.

    1. Joel Guzman, lol! I remember that $2 million-dollar Dominican bonus baby. I also remember Matt Kemp blowing past his lazy behind in High-A ball (when that Dodgers affiliate was still in the Florida State League) and that was the end of him as a result. Wonder where he’s at right now, not that I really care. Just curious, haha…

  11. Poor Toles can’t catch a break this year. Who goes down when puig comes back, if we don’t trade someone of the major roster?

      1. Oblique injuries can take a long time. Puig’s return might still be a long ways off so they might be able to postpone that decision for a few weeks.

    1. Praying Forsythe finally gets the axe. Sending Toles back down was silly and unnecessary. If I’m him, I’m probably demanding a trade RIGHT NOW! Absolutely ridiculous…

      1. Toles and Verdugo are probably both screaming. They are probably both on the 25-man roster of almost any other team in MLB right now. Maybe we should trade Kemp and flip Machado to make room for them………………or not. Let’s face it, if they could trade Forsythe and convince Utley to retire now, that would solve the problem. Some team that is out of the race should be inventive and call Friedman offering to take Forsythe and the salary off his hands for a half-decent prospect, or maybe we can force him into a trade for a reliever by giving up better prospects. If they just release him the salary still counts, so that would be a problem.

  12. Am I the only one around here who had never heard of Jose Leclerc until I read Allan Yamashige’s write up on him at Dodgers Digest this morning? He’s (at least to me) a rather obscure reliever who pitches for the Rangers. Based on his stats, he’s definitely somone worth looking at.

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