Theoretically, Dodgers Could Benefit by a Waiver Trade in August


Many fans of the Dodgers seemed to have mixed feelings after the 2018 non-waiver deadline passed on Tuesday afternoon. Some folks believed that the offense became a potential juggernaut with the addition of infielder Brian Dozier, while others felt the team missed several beneficial opportunities by passing up numerous relievers which were eventually snatched up by rival clubs. Nevertheless, there’s still about a month remaining when clubs are able to make waiver trades, which gives Los Angeles an ample amount of time to sort out all of its internal resources.

Yesterday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reported that general manager Farhan Zaidi believes the Dodgers won’t necessarily need to scour the waiver wire, despite not completely having ruled out the possibility of making a late-season roster addition. Zaidi thinks that there may be enough talent in the organization already to build a successful relief crew, a sentiment which we’ve been discussing for a few weeks now.

“We were hoping to add a bullpen arm who has some end-of-game experience,” Zaidi told reporters before Tuesday’s contest with the Brewers. “We may look at unconventional ways; we’ll let things evolve.”

Skipper Dave Roberts specifically rolled out a few names when asked about the club’s need for a bonafide eighth inning arm, mentioning the newly acquired John Axford, Scott Alexander, JT Chargois and even the young Caleb Ferguson as options of forming the bridge to All-Star closer Kenley Jansen.

Logical thinking says the Dodgers can utilize the next few weeks to get a feel for how they want to build their postseason bullpen, if they do indeed clinch a playoff berth before the end of the regular season. Lefty Julio Urias made his first official rehab appearance yesterday, while southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to begin his road back to the bigs by starting a game at Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. Keeping in mind that arms like Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Kenta Maeda have already proven to be worthy in relief, the possibilities are certainly vast for a postseason rebuild of the relief corps. Throw a healthy Josh Fields and Tony Cingrani into the mix, and the bullpen becomes even stronger.

Despite all that, the front office crew will undoubtedly leave no stone unturned when considering the possibility of a waiver deal. Before Tuesday’s non-waiver deadline, there were actually a handful of clubs who decided to hold strong, believing that there were still chances for them to creep into their respective playoff races. However, should those same clubs fall out of playoff contention over the coming weeks, they may decide to post some of their players on waivers, especially those who are slated to become free agents this winter. By doing so, these clubs could conceivably grab  a few prospects in exchange for a player which they’d ultimately lose anyway.

The Nationals jump out as one of those clubs who may be dealing, as they currently have a 53-53 record sitting in third place, 5-1/2 games behind the division-leading Phillies. Righty reliever Kelvin Hererrera, who was acquired from the Royals mid-June, comes to mind straight away. The 28-year-old is set to become a free agent this offseason and may be one of those players the Nats elect to move, should they fall farther from the division lead. Additionally, lefty Sean Doolittle could be an option, even though he still has two more year of team control on his contract. Righty Shawn Kelley could be another possibility, as he was designated for assignment by Washington on Wednesday, one day after throwing a tantrum on the pitcher’s mound during a game.

While the options appear to be almost endless at this stage, there seems to be a lot of sorting out that needs to be done by the Dodgers over the coming weeks. They’ll need to optimize their starting rotation, in addition to piecing together a prospective postseason bullpen that has the potential for success. Still, if the club decides to stay put and not make any further roster additions, there’s no question that they’re one of the better clubs in the bigs on paper—at least in the National League.


19 thoughts on “Theoretically, Dodgers Could Benefit by a Waiver Trade in August

  1. If Doolittle is healthy then he’d be the perfect guy to trade for but I think they should try to get Shawn Kelley on the cheap. He is a legit late inning guy and wouldn’t cost much to get after last night. I think the Nats GM blew that whole thing way out of proportion.

    1. Personally, I think I’d take Kelley over Dan Hudson. I often wonder just how long Hudson will be in the pen. Certainly scary if he’s there come playoff time. Actually, it’s scary if several of these guys are still there in the postseason.

  2. Who else are you scared of besides Hudson and Baez, Dennis? As a group, my first impulse is to say I don’t have huge confidence but as I look at each guy individually, with the exception of Hudson/Baez, the others have all performed well. I only worry about what the pressure of late season and playoff baseball would do to them. With regard to picking someone up off waivers in August, the potential problem with that is someone might beat us to the claim because of being lower in the standings. If we’re lower in the standings that poses another problem.

      1. I guess we’re just looking at this from different angles. Probably by the time Herrera would be put on waivers the remaining $ left on his contract would be around 1 mil. I would think for that expenditure, any contender who could claim him would do so, if for no other reason that to keep the other guys from getting him.

  3. Nats GM letting Kelley go in the heat of the moment was PERFECT timing! I would be absolutely stunned (and not in a good way, either) if the Dodger front office doesn’t jump on him within the next few days. He can still get it done in a late-inning set-up role and is consistently around the strike zone, too. Makes too much sense for me at this point…

    1. To be honest, I know almost nothing about Kelley, except that he was dfa’d because of a behavior situation. Dodger management has gone out of its way to speak to how much they value good behavior/team unity, etc. So I’m not sure how quickly they’ll be jumping on the Kelley bandwagon. I realize this is absolutely nothing like the Osuna situation, but I’m still not sure how anxious they’ll be to add a personality like Kelley.

    2. Here’s all you need to know about Kelley: HE WANTS TO PLAY ON A LEGIT CONTENDER RIGHT NOW! That’s why he blew up in that joke of a game last night. He knows the Nats clubhouse is in utter disarray now and the ballclub has little to no chance of competing for a playoff spot down the stretch this season. Face it, moment Dusty was given the boot as manager it was over for them. Rizzo puffing his chest out to the media of late regarding Harper’s trade status and now Kelley’s blow-up on the mound at the tail end of a 25-4 Nats rout of another team going nowhere in the Mets was almost comical. He might end up losing his position as GM of that team at season’s end as a result.

      That said, I’d gladly welcome Kelley to LA with open arms. Situation reminds me too much of how Robert Horry came to the Lakers back in the late-90s (threw a towel in Sun’s coach Danny Ainge’s face which got him dealt to LA, SAME feeling as the Kelley situation-lol).

      1. Does Horry throw a good 2-seam? Yeah, that situation in Washington is really weird. No matter what they do, they always seem to underperform. If I’m the owner, I think it’s time to put at least some of the blame on Rizzo. I think they’d be better off saying good-bye to him and their free agents at the end of the year and starting over with a sharp young GM and a new manager of his choosing. With regard to Papelbon Dennis, my nearby Wal-Mart is looking for greeters. I think he’d be perfect for the job.

      2. How do we explain to the Silver Fox that he has to retire tomorrow? Friday may be Hudson’s last day here, although I would prefer that they send Petey to OKC. When the next negotiations with the union come up, the union should lobby for 30 man rosters, with 25 or 26 men stipulated as available for each game. Of course the owners would probably never go for that but it would be a huge advantage for front office situations like ours.

      3. Yup, at least Duquette isn’t wasting time dismantling the Orioles roster for an inevitable rebuild of late. Maybe Rizzo should start taking notes from him at this point, lol!

  4. I wonder what the front office is going to do with the glut of outfield players, and prospects. Does this mean they want Verdugo, and Toles in the majors next season? It would be a waste to put either one at okc again next year.

    1. Glut? What glut Keith? Kemp, Puig, Joc, Taylor, Bellinger, Kike, Toles, Verdugo. Is that too many to put out on the field at one time? My guess is that Puig and Toles are not with the organization on opening day next year. Unless they decide to try and sell high on Kemp and keep Puig for one last year (won’t get rid of both since that would leave us very short on right-handed hitting outfielders). Since 2019 is the last year of the contract for both Kemp and Puig, we’ll need to come up with a right-handed power hitting outfielder for 2020 but that’s a long ways away and maybe Peters will be ready by then. With regard to prospects, they seem to be spread fairly well through the system so probably not a major problem at this point. And if it gets to be a problem we can always bundle a bunch of them up in a trade.

  5. Great win last night and a terrific start for Dozier’s Dodger career. It will certainly be interesting to see if Andrew attempts to re-sign either or both (Dozier/Machado). Not saying that Dozier is as good a player as Manny but resigning him would actually be an easier solution than bringing back Machado because that would mean they could leave Seager at short. Lots of time left for that all to play out. In the meanwhile Yaz is going to get himself a nice contract from someone and we’re going to have a bit of a hole at catcher next year, but I think the odds of bringing him back are very small since he’ll never sign for anything less than 3-4 years and we have all those young, good catchers lined up behind him. JT back tonight and Axford coming tomorrow. Two heads on the chopping block. I’m guessing it will be two pitchers, maybe one to the DL and the other to OKC, and I’m thinking Hudson/Baez (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking). Muncy is also in a funk and might find he has an ailment he didn’t know about.

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