Dodgers Rumors: Our First Hypothetical Trade Proposal of the Winter

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(Associated Press photo)

Admittedly, I’m not one of those people who like to draw up endless hypothetical trades guessing which players could end up making a club better. It’s hard to estimate what’s going on inside the minds of most general managers, and it’s difficult to dig deep enough into an opposition’s farm system to decipher the needs of a particular organization. Nevertheless, I’m good for one or two imaginary deals per season, as I believe they can be a good tools for determining players’ worth and values.

With everything that’s happened to the Dodgers already this winter in the management and coaching departments, there’s no question that boss Andrew Friedman is up to his ears with matters regarding his personnel department. There have been rumors that the folks in the front office will assume former GM Farhan Zaidi’s duties by committee, which could prospectively lead to Los Angeles not making any huge splashes in terms of trades this winter. However, there will be some roster moves, as there are more than a handful of players who have departed because of free agency.

So, in order to lend Friedman a hand in getting the trade brainstorming started this winter, I have come up with my first fictitious proposal.

There will always be criticism, even in the most carefully thought out deals by the most sensible front office executives. Many will believe they are lopsided, but again, it all has to do with what the teams need to succeed or grow, and the true value of a player isn’t always the bottom line of what’s actually bartered. Still, the Dodgers may be just a little short on this deal, but it could be a decent starting point.

Dodgers receive: Felipe Vazquez (Rivero) and Francisco Cervelli

Pirates receive: Mitchell White, Max Muncy, Connor Wong and Isaac Anderson

Right off the top, there are probably a ton of Dodgers fans saying that Los Angeles would be giving away too much. But, from the Pittsburgh perspective, Pirates fans are likely to think that they’re getting way too little. It may look like I’m skimming a bit here, but I think it’s important to remember that Cervelli is entering the final year of his contract and that he could be moved at some point next year anyway, as the Pirates are notorious for trading such players, especially if they’re out of the playoff picture close to the trade deadlines.

From the Los Angeles perspective, the Dodgers get a much-needed bullpen arm, which is also effective as a setup man or a closer, plus a top-notch catcher who can hold the organization over until either Will Smith or Keibert Ruiz is ready to handle the primary duties behind the plate.

The 32-year-old Cervelli hammered double-digit home runs for the first time in his career last season, but more importantly, his .378 OBP is a significant improvement over the .349 mark of Yasmani Grandal. The right-handed hitting Venezuela native has been paving the way for Elias Diaz, who hit .286 with 10 homers in 82 games last season.

Vazquez made his first-ever All-Star squad in 2018, posting 37 saves, a 2.43 FIP, and an 11.4 K/9 after throwing an even 70 innings over 70 appearances. Vazquez, 27, is entering the second year of a four-year/$22.5 million deal, and he’ll earn $4,5 million in 2019, which includes a partial payment of his signing bonus.

With the 28-year-old, left-handed hitting Muncy, the Pirates receive a huge upgrade to their power department. The Bucs had just two players on their roster—Starling Marte (20) and Gregory Polanco (23)—who hit more than 20 long balls in 2018. Muncy slammed 35 regular-season bombs for the Dodgers last season.

White, a 23-year-old, right handed Santa Clara product, has seen a spike in his fastball velocity in recent years. He’s now sitting in the 93-97 range, but perhaps more importantly, has plenty of natural sink. The 2016 second-round pick’s best offering, though, is a power slider with a huge amount of late bite. He’s currently ranked as the seventh best prospect in the Los Angeles system, profiling as either a quality starter or a reliable back-end reliever.

Wong, 22, was selected in the third round of the 2017 draft out of the University of Houston. For High-A Rancho last year, he hit .269/.350/.480 with 20 doubles, 19 long balls and 60 RBI. Wong’s currently buried on the Los Angeles depth chart below Austin Barnes, Smith and Ruiz.

Anderson is a 25-year-old, righty swing man who threw a combined 121 innings over 32 appearances—17 of which were starts—for Rancho and Double-A Tulsa last season. He tallied a 10.0 K/9 with a 3.99 ERA in his fourth full year with the organization.

As much as I wanted to include an outfielder from the Los Angeles system, the Pirates are plentifully stocked, and I just can’t see anybody from the Dodgers drawing interest, including Alex Verdugo or Yasiel Puig. Instead, Muncy became my centerpiece, based on the assumption that his current value is at an all-time high.

Of course, Grandal may surprise everybody and accpet the $17.4 million qualifying offer that was extended to him by the Dodgers last week. Still, it doesn’t help the Los Angeles bullpen, which needs more than one reliable addition in a huge kind of way.

 

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24 thoughts on “Dodgers Rumors: Our First Hypothetical Trade Proposal of the Winter

  1. What crap! I first stopped reading after I saw Muncy in there then I read some more to see if you made any sense, but I just never did. You are fired as GM and banned from the stadium.

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      1. I guess I have the feeling that Muncy won’t come anywhere close to the season in 2018. If I’m right, his value will never be higher. If I’m wrong, it’s still a fair deal, I think. White’s ERA was 4 last year, and Wong’s biggest weakness is throwing to second base. I still can’t figure out where Muncy settles in defensively, especially if his offensive numbers decline next season.

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  2. Unlike Mr. Wesley, I don’t think the deal is crap, although I think a lot more people will come down on his side than on yours Dennis. I’ve always been a big fan of Cervelli’s and just last week I decided that he would be the perfect solution to our catching problem for next year. With regard to Vazquez, we absolutely need a potential closer if Kenley continues to pitch the way he did this year. If he resumes being the old Kenley, Vazquez is the perfect bridge guy, or they can be used interchangeably depending on the situation. We have a number of good young pitchers and catchers so dealing White and Wong for some guys we really need is no problem. Where we roll the dice is with Muncy. Does he regress or is he the next Justin Turner? Only time will tell. Anyway, I think the deal is intriguing. Go ahead Wesley, have at me. 🙂

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    1. Pirates feel they’re in contention every year, and losing Vazquez would decimate their bullpen. Could somebody like Crick or Rich Rodriguez step in and take their place? Is a legit power threat enough for Huntington to pull the trigger?

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      1. In their situation the lure of a young, controllable 35-homer guy who could play every day might make them bite. We could always throw in Petey B. to help…………………………………..Oh wait a minute, he might now be our best relief pitcher.

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      2. Swap Baez for White and Huntington just might pull the trigger. I’m just not sure Friedman would be willing to let Baez go at this point. If it means getting Vazquez, though, you never know.

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      3. They love Baez and with Kenley’s situation (health and pitching wise) somewhat uncertain, I don’t think they’d do it.

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      4. Well, if you’re that confident, let’s sub Kenley for White instead of Baez. I think that gets the deal done (except that the Pirates wouldn’t want to pay all of Kenley’s salary so we’ll have to throw in some $). I’m kinda gettin’ the hang of this GM stuff. I’m the perfect addition to the Dodger front office. Put in a good word for me Dennis.

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      5. Nobody asked me for their release.

        White and Wong. That’s funny.

        It’s not a bad trade. Muncy will likely come back to earth, just like Taylor did. We get what we need. I have no clue whether Pittsburgh is interested in a couple guys that won’t likely come close to the two they would be letting go. White might be ok. Who knows.

        Keep trying. I’m on my way to Desert Hot Springs for some lazy time. I doubt much happens while I’m gone.

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    2. Love this deal .with limited knowledge. Muncy isn’t as good of hiter as Bellinger so numbers will drop. Love lefty closer/setup man. Team sorely needs short term catcher. Have to check stats to see how good Cervelli is on defense and handles staffs. Reliable lefty reliever is a must.

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  3. So as long as we’re putting trades together, what about the stuff out of Chicago that says Theo would consider trading Bryant. Scoop, you’ve talked about getting Stanton, Bryant would fill the same purpose (a right handed power hitting outfielder) with a much shorter contract, although probably a much higher cost in prospects. Do we want to go after Bryant? What might that trade cost us in players/prospects?

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  4. The Pirates don’t have a shortstop now that Mercer is finally gone. What about including Chris Taylor? Even if he has a year like 2018 that is better than what the Pirates got from Mercer and Taylor is cheap and could rebound. I think keeping Taylor and Kike is a bit redundant. You would probably have to keep Muncy in the deal, but I’d like to pull White out if Taylor gets added. White has the most upside if he can stay healthy. Felipe Vazquez is a stud. Could always add Sborz, Kasowski, or even Alvarez to sweeten the deal.

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      1. Might still need to include Wong and Anderson, but I still think it would be worth it. With Vazquez and Jansen at the end of the bullpen you only have to get the rest of the bullpen through maybe 2 innings.

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      2. A healthy/fixed Kenley, Vazquez and if the 2018 Baez wasn’t just a mirage – that’s a real nice beginning to a very good bullpen. On the other hand, if the 2019 Kenley is the 2018 Kenley and the 2019 Baez is the 2017 Baez…………….

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  5. I’m all for a deal like this, a reliever like Vasquez would be a perfect fit for our bull pen. You can’t make a deal like this and not expect it to hurt a little. Muncy is a left handed hitting first baseman, we already have one of those playing cf,so he is replaceable, without creating a huge hole. We would be trading from an area of strength.

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  6. I would rather make a deal like this, than to pay a kings ransom to bring in Realmuto to fill the void at catcher. The marlins will probably want a bigger package for Realmuto, than what Dennis is offering for both Cervelli, and Rivero.

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