Another day, another rumor of another player the Dodgers are interested in. On Thursday, I discussed how Joc Pederson might fit into the Dodgers’ plans. Over the weekend, rumors started to fly that maybe the Dodgers don’t have him in their 2019 plans at all.
If we are to believe multiple internet rumors, many teams have been checking in on the possibility of a Pederson trade. The White Sox seem to be the most interested, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Furthermore, Jon Heyman of Fancred says that the Atlanta Braves have checked in also. The Braves do need outfield help, and with a trade last off season between the two teams and the familiarity of Alex Anthopolous with the Dodgers front office, a deal could be brokered pretty easily.
Joc may simply be the casualty of Los Angeles having too many left-handed bats. In addition, his inability to hit southpaw pitching doesn’t help his cause. If the Dodgers are going to trade one of their left-handed outfielders, it certainly isn’t going to be past Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger, and it probably isn’t going to be Alex Verdugo, their prized prospect.
Yesterday, Dennis discussed where A.J. Pollock would fit in with the Dodgers, as his name has been brought up time and again. Moving Joc would seem to make a space for the free agent, or perhaps even Bryce Harper. (I know, I know, Harper isn’t coming to L.A. But until he signs somewhere, there’s always a chance.) One place a Pollock addition does not make sense is on the in the checkbook, which seems to be what is the guiding force for the Dodgers’ front office. Pederson is due $5 million this season, and Pollock could cost up to three times that amount, plus he isn’t guaranteed to be healthy all season.
In addition to Pollock, another name the Dodgers were tied to over the weekend is Josh Harrison of the Pittsburgh Pirates. This one makes even less sense than Pollock, as the last truly good season Josh had was 2014. His contact rate has dipped in three consecutive season. Aside from his killer smile and ability to play all over, I don’t see what upgrade he would be. Besides, the Dodgers have quite a few utility players already.
Another name to the Dodgers search for a right handed bat is Harrison’s teammate Starling Marte. A career .286 hitter, he’s coming off a season where he hit 20 home runs, stole 33 bases and posted a .787 OPS. He’s been very healthy throughout his career. His one mar is he was suspended for using PEDs in 2017, when he served an 80 game suspension.
The Dodgers have been rumored to be in discussions with the Pirates earlier this off-season, with thoughts of sending Ross Stripling to western PA. Perhaps he would be packaged with Joc to make this type of trade happen.
Regardless of who it is, the Dodgers are actively looking for a right-handed bat to add to their lineup. I would propose a move is coming sooner than later, with the start of spring training now only three weeks away.