How Latest Trade Flurry Affects Dynamics of Dodgers’ 26-Man Roster

(Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

While none of the participating teams have yet to officially announce the details of their impending deals, it’s certainly safe to say that front office boss Andrew Friedman will have shaken up the roster of the Dodgers once all the formalities are signed and sealed.

In case you missed the key moves, the initial trade with the Red Sox and the Twins appears to have the most validity, at least at the time of this publication. In summary, gone are outfielder Alex Verdugo and swing man Kenta Maeda. Heading to Los Angeles are outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price. Additionally, there is a whole bunch of money coming to the Dodgers from Boston in terms of salary relief.

Betts will earn $27 million this year and can become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Price has three years and $96 million remaining on his contract.

In the trade that emerged later Tuesday evening, the news that initially broke indicated that outfielder Joc Pederson and outfield prospect Andy Pages were dealt to the Angels in exchange for switch-hitting infielder Luis Rengifo.

However, further developments on Wednesday morning revealed that there are more moving parts involved, specifically righty swing man Ross Stripling being sent to Anaheim with a prospect coming back to Los Angeles.

From an organizational standpoint, perhaps one of the most important parts of the trades are that the departures of Pederson and Stripling suggest the Dodgers are sitting below the 2020 Luxury Tax Threshold, at least for now. Rough calculations at the moment have Los Angeles at about a $200 million payroll, approximately $8 million under the cap.

Nevertheless, the most substance of the trades is the amount of talent that Betts brings to the table. Perhaps Jon Heyman was askew with his initial assessment of the true team in Los Angeles, but the 27-year-old Betts indeed compliments an offensive attack that stands atop all the clubs in the National League.

Who the third mystery player is, we still have no idea.

Regardless, Betts will presumably hit leadoff for the Dodgers, soothing the conscience of the many fans who felt that Pederson was out of his element in the top spot. Over the course of his six-year major league career, Betts hit leadoff 563 times, while batting second 79 times, third 54 times and cleanup 56 times. Depending on the metrics of his production, Betts could be moved around a bit, especially if 22-year-old Gavin Lux ultimately proves to be a legit leadoff option as he increases his ability to get on base.

Last year, Betts OPS’d an impressive .915, but that number was still significantly shy of the 1.078 mark he registered during his MVP year in 2018. Betts will play everday, as splits are not an issue. In 2768 career PA against right-handed pitching, he has slashed .300/.371/.516. Over 861 lifetime PA against southpaws, he has hit .304/.384/.531.

The outfield should set up with reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger in center, A.J. Pollock in left and Betts in right. With Verdugo’s departure, lefty-hitting Matt Beaty is almost assured a roster spot, as he provides legitimate cover to Pollock in left. Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and perhaps even DJ Peters supply additional depth.

Rengifo provides depth at shortstop and second base from both sides of the plate on offense, but being that he has two options remaining on his contract, he could theoretically begin his 2020 campaign at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

If you missed Andy’s column on Monday, she outlined how Price would conceivably fit into the Dodgers’ rotation. With the exoduses of Maeda and Stripling, there are certainly less moving parts on the pitching staff. The team may end up featuring a lefty-dominant rotation with Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Price as the headliners. Another lefty, 29-year-old Alex Wood, could join the aforementioned crew if he stays healthy and outperforms fellow veteran Jimmy Nelson during the 2020 Cactus League season.

Young right-hander Dustin May is another option for an already impressive starting front-five.

Either way, the choices undoubtedly place the Los Angeles rotation among the best in the National League.

Once we find out the final details on the prospect coming back to the Dodgers from Anaheim, we’ll take a closer look at how the Los Angeles farm was affected by this week’s deals.


80 thoughts on “How Latest Trade Flurry Affects Dynamics of Dodgers’ 26-Man Roster

  1. Rengifo could turn out to be interesting. Jeff Passan says he got numerous calls from baseball people last night saying how much they like him. Keith Law says he thinks he’ll eventually be good enough to be a starter at second base for an MLB team, so if not the Dodgers he’ll be a good trade chip.

    1. If Rengifo can hit close to .300 at OKC, I think the Dodgers may have something. If he hits closer to .230-.240, he may forever fit a few ticks below the Enrique/CT3 utility category.

      1. In 437 minor league games Rengifo hit .270 and OPS’d .765. I don’t see it, but apparently Friedman does.

      1. Graduate of Yale. JD from University of Chicago. Criminal prosecutor. With that resume she’s needed where she is. But the Dodgers could do worse.

  2. Scoop, back to your previous post, lamenting that you wish you could see the games. Go to you can see the games and all the Rams games and just about ever damn game on the globe for something like $60 a year. I have used it for a couple of years and it is easy peasy to use. Check it out.

  3. Not sure, but there seems to be some hold up on the Betts trade. Not from LA or Boston, but the pitcher going to the Sox from Minnesota. Rumor is he might have failed his physical. If so, a replacement player would have to be found in both the Maeda and Betts trades. Stay tuned.

    1. Graterol’s medical report is what is holding up both trades. But according to sources it is a problem all party’s feel can be worked out. So sometime in the next 24 hours we should see some resolution.

  4. The “third mystery player” is Mike Trout. He’s referring to the city of Los Angeles I believe. Also, we gave up way too much to the Angels for Rengifo. We already have Hernandez and Taylor to backup SS and 2b. We give up both Joc and Stripling for him?

    1. Bob, the deal is not consummated yet. The deal is hung up because of the medical’s on Graterol. So, until that is cleared up, the trade of Joc, Stripling and minor leaguer Andy Page to the Angels is not final. Now, the Dodgers are supposed to get Rengifo and 2 prospects from the Angels, and this is pretty much a salary dump. Reason being, even though Boston is sending 50 million dollars to LA to help defray the huge amount of money he is owed over the next 3 years, they would still be over the tax taking on 42 million between Price and Betts. So, with close to 9 for Joc, Maeda’s 3.5 and over a mil for Strip, they stay under the tax. If all these trades go down as planned, they sit at right about 200 mil. The tax threshold is 208. I agree they are not getting equal value back, and why they would want another middle infielder who can play SS and 2B, when they have 3 of those guys already, Kike, Taylor and Lux, just makes no sense to me. It was pointed out that Rengifo is a switch hitter. But his slash line was not impressive at all with the Angels.

      1. I read in January Kasten is prepared to go over the limit this year so that is not an issue. They’ve been under it for two years now so the penalty will be minimal. Maybe the money coming over will pay for it. Besides, for a multi billion dollar corporation what’s a few million?

        Teams are saying this glitch can be worked out, so, we wait.

        I have no idea why Rengifo. That remains to be explained.

      2. I still think they’ll wholeheartedly try to stay under the cap this year. Unless some opportunity presents itself at the trade deadline they feel they absolutely cannot pass up. It wouldn’t be the first time Kasten blew smoke in the face of the fans.

      1. I do not think he is a plus……at all. He hit ok in the minors, but has not shown that in the bigs. I am pretty sure he is ticketed for AAA

    1. I got a dental appointment. Yeeish!

      I’m not convinced Pederson is a salary dump. Maybe. But Kasten said in January he anticipated going over this year. I think something else is afoot.

      1. Definitely this FO is a false-lead waiting to happen. Everything they do is a misdirection play or maybe an outright lie. We have all seen it for years now. Don’t be surprised if this whole apple cart of trades gets tossed sideways and some how or some way the Dodgers end up grasping at air, plus alienate members on their own roster.

        I had a friend text me yesterday, telling me that all these trades and roster moves had him very excited about winning the WS this season. My response, “don’t get to excited, they didn’t trade Roberts”

      2. Could be, they just extended Muncy for 3 years at 26 million. Pederson’s arbitration hearing is today. No new news on the trades yet, but that should be taken care of real soon. Mets not being sold after all.

  5. Hey folks, don’t panic quite yet. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, remember what everyone was saying when we made the Kemp/Puig/Wood “salary dump”. Once the Betts deal is completed, the Angels deal will be finalized. Let’s see who we get back. Baseball people are apparently pretty high on Rengifo. That doesn’t mean he’ll be a roaring success here, but it means he’s probably more than chopped liver. Kike won’t be around next year and CT3 only has two years left on his contract. This kid is only in his early 20’s. Olaf the Magnificent has earned some slack in the last few days. Patience, please.

    1. Not sure why baseball people would be all that excited. He was never ranked that high and his minor league numbers were rather pedestrian.

      At VA in Long Beach. Coming here reminds me I’m not in that bad of shape. Gratitude. Seek it. Find it. Embrace it.

      1. Here, here Scoop.
        When you’re feeling down, look around, there’s always someone who’s doing worse than you are.
        Gratitude. Seek it. Find it. Embrace it.

      1. My info (both Baseball Reference and Spotrac) shows he’s a free agent after the 2021 season (or before the 2022 season, if you prefer). Where are you getting your information Bear?

      2. You are right, I misread what baseball reference says. It says earliest he can be a free agent is 2022. Took that to mean he was signed through the 2022 season, or under team control until then. My bad, getting old. Pederson’s arbitration hearing is another reason the trade with the Angels is being held up. I expect some resolution to both deals by tomorrow. Some chatter that if the Maeda deal is squashed because of Graterol’s physical stuff, that Gonsolin might become the replacement part. Dodgers would no doubt then move Maeda to the Twins for someone else.

      3. Having to include Gonsolin at this late date would be a real bummer. I’d rather just try to convince the Sox to take Maeda, even if that meant they would give us a little less money back for Price.
        Graterol looks interesting. Throws 100 mph and is only 20. Maybe we should just make a trade for him with the idea that he’s a reliever. Lots of control remaining so even if he winds up having shoulder surgery, Ryu and Urias came back from that in good shape.

      4. I doubt they want Kenta. I think the Twins really do. It will all work itself out. I am pretty sure both will figure it out soon. Of course the Red Sox fans are hoping Boston can con the Dodgers out of one of their better prospects.

    1. Good news, Muncy is a solid player and appears to have some durability too.

      Good job, Scoop. It is always good to recognize the things that one should be thankful for, health is a pretty important one. I see some of those ads on these little children with a ton of troubles and it makes me want to cry. What the hell do I have to complain about? Not a damn thing when I realize the suffering of so many.

      1. Thanks for the positive outlook IJDM. I was beginning to think you were just an extremely negative guy. Turns out maybe you’re just negative about AF and Doc. 🙂

      2. Good news on Muncy. We should have a lot of good first innings this year. Man, that lineup! Watching those guys hit just might be worth the FCI…… for some. Not for me.

        All went well at my dental appointment. I am grateful I have dental care. I am one lucky pup to still have teeth. Don’t any of you young guys take your teeth for granted.

        I feel more positive about AF than I do about Doc. His bullpen moves have been inexcusable in my mind. Come on man, trust your guys to do their jobs and when they’ve done it, get them out of there!

        Has the snag been cleared? How about a sensible explanation of the Pederson trade?

  6. OPS+ in last 2 seasons (100 is average)
    Max Muncy (145)
    Cody Bellinger (144)
    Juan Soto (140)
    Freddie Freeman (138)
    Nolan Arenado (131)
    Bryce Harper (130)
    Anthony Rizzo (130)
    Paul Goldschmidt (127)
    Manny Machado (127)
    Kris Bryant (126)

    $26M over 3 years for Muncy is a steal.

    1. Thanks for that Jesus. You have a lot to add here. Always interested to read your comments.
      And yes, 3/26 is quite a bargain.

      1. 3/26. That was my outfit in Vietnam. It’s also my godson’s birthday. I got nothing else.

  7. I was just thinking about the rotation with Stripling and Kenta gone. You have to put May in the rotation from day one now right?
    I just don’t see how Alex Wood or Jimmy Nelson would make us a better team over May.

    1. One thru four will be the guys you mentioned (in some order) but I think #5 will be determined in part by ST performances. Keith has a valid point about options but if, for example, Wood is horrible and May doesn’t give up a hit all spring, they might have to re-think the game plan. Nelson has already mentioned he’s ok with any role they give him, but if Wood hasn’t pitched well enough for that fifth spot, he may just have to put up with going to the pen or creatively being injured and spend some time in Az working on his stuff. I don’t know what the plan is for Gonsolin. He could go down to OKC and start or could be kept in LA as part of the bullpen. Or, if he has a fantastic spring, he could wind up as the 5th starter. As they say, “that’s what spring training is for”.

  8. Actually I’m not a negative guy at all, Jeff. I do call things as I see them, not a PC guy by any stretch. I am negative about AF and Roberts (they seem to have earned thus far).

    I got in trouble the other day for using the term “blowjob” (I’m sure no one has ever heard that term). Was I trying to be nasty, NO. So what was I doing? Making a joke about the joke that Scoop had put forth which included just about everything but the kitchen sink in an offer of Super Bowl Tix. Some were quite offended by the term that they had never heard before. For those that were offended, I apologize, I will refrain from this level of joking. Yeah, I know that some will say “but it wasn’t funny, so it is not appropriate”. Well, some things are funny to some and not funny to others. I will curb my edgy humor for those that were unhappy with that term previously used.

    “Comedy is not pretty” (or appropriate apparently). *Steve Martin

  9. May has options, woods and Nelson don’t. May will start the season in the minors, with Strippling gone, May and Gonsolin will be the substitutes when one of the starting five needs a rest or get hurt. I’m not saying you’re wrong Alex I’m just saying what I think the team will do. The FO didn’t bring Nelson and woods on just to release them after spring training.

    1. I think you’re right Keith. Those without options will stay, those with will go and come back. It’s actually set up well. Everybody gets rest, everybody gets innings.

  10. Seven straight post seasons in a row. Two WS appearances and cheated out of a WS win. Fire the bums!

    1. So you are finally crossing over eh Rich? Realizing what a horrible job AF has done. Roberts is not much better. Hell it took AF 5 whole years to finally trade for an A list player. His baseball acumen is pretty bad.

  11. 3/6 huh Scoop? 3rd battalion, 6th Marine division. I went through so many different designations. 7th battalion, 5th ADA brigade, 6th Bn, 562nd ADA, and then they switched that on us to the 1st of the 1st ADA. That was Germany. I wonder if you saw that the Army changed their dress uniform. They went back to the WWII uni. Brown jackets and pants that look almost pink. Also the dress jacket has a belt in the middle just like the Marine dress uni does. When I watched part of the State of the Union the Army generals in the audience were wearing the new duds.

    1. 3rd Battalion 26th Marine Regiment Bear. Nicknames The Professionals, and The Tip of the Spear. 5th Marine Division Reactionary Battalion attached to 3rd MarDiv WestPac. Khe Sanh, Con Thien. We’re famous, among those that know war history. I doubt many here ever heard of us.

      Didn’t watch SOTU. I think you know why.

      Where’s the news on these trades?

      1. Most of it coming on Twitter and some on MLBTR. But the sources are people like Rosenthal and such. So pretty reliable, and some Boston stations that post on there. Yeah, I saw that after i wrote…sorry. I know all about you guys. Tough and professional outfit.

  12. Now it is looking like the Red Sox want another player as compensation for Graterol being damaged goods. The main reason is that Graterol has been a starter, but with his injury’s of the last couple of years he looks to be a reliever. So, they are probably going through a list of players the Sox might chose from. Only time will tell.

      1. That would mean Graterol would not be part of the deal. Not sure they want Kenta. They are probably interested in some one younger.

  13. Sportsnet LA will broadcast 30 games on TV during spring training this year. First time they have done that.

      1. Nope, the trade will go through probably with some tinkering as to who goes to the Sox. Dodgers might be forced to add someone from their system.

  14. Wonder if we would take Graterol and then send Boston something like Ferguson and Busch. Kid seems to have an electric arm and we need bullpen help

    1. There are obviously red flags with his medicals so, although I would certainly take a chance on Graterol I think Fergie and Busch would be an overpay. I would do Ferguson straight up but not sure the Sox would do it. This needs to get finished quickly. The longer it drags out the more likely it implodes completely.

      1. So…. are we keeping Graterol? That doesn’t make sense. 150 innings for a guy that failed a physical?

        I’ve been busy all day. I need someone to ‘splain this to me.

      2. Sox were counting on him as a starter. Physical made them think he can only be a reliever so they either want an extra piece or a substitute. We were wondering (the guy throws 100 mph and is only 20 yrs old) if we should just take him for the bullpen. Not 150 innings, but maybe 60-70.

      3. If he can throw 100 mph for 70 innings then give him Gonsolin’s job and send him to Boston. Or Ferguson. Both of those guys project better than Graterol.

  15. There are now some people who think the whole thing can fall apart. They rarely do, but that is what Heyman is reporting. Not sure if they want more compensation from the Dodgers, or more from the Twins. Boston fans are hoping the whole thing collapses. And then they trade him to SD for a better package. Me, I hope they work it out or this could be Chris Paul not going to the Lakers all over again. Plus the Sclemmings would have to start committing Hari Kari.

    1. I don’t think AF wants to let this fall apart. How do you turn around and welcome Dugo, Joc, Strip and Maeda back into the clubhouse after they know you’ve traded them.
      Preller is licking his chops, just waiting to step in and start negotiating again.
      Bloom has taken a lot of heat about not getting enough back so maybe to appease the Boston fans he’ll take on Myers’ contract and get more than the equivalent of Verdugo and a wounded pitcher.
      I assume that subbing Gonsolin for Graterol would get it done but I’d hate to see us have to do that.
      This definitely won’t go past the weekend, one way or the other.

      1. Right now it seems that Boston is after another Twins prospect. Not sure who he is. But I think they are burning up the phone lines trying to get this solved. As far as welcoming players back, I think the Dodger players would be fine having their team mates back, but Maeda for sure, and probably Joc would not be too happy with management. My question to the Schlemmings is what is your opinion of Friedman if all this goes into the crapper? I know it will not be his fault, but still, getting Betts was a coup. Not getting Betts means the off season has been a total bust unless they target someone like Bryant or Arenado.

      2. Understandable. It is not really his fault. I read something else that was interesting concerning Verdugo and might be a reason why they are willing to trade him. Last year during spring training he and James Baldwin, another Dodger prospect were partying at the Hampton in with a couple of ladies and one of them was underage. As per the police report. The underage girl got sick and vomited all over the bed. The other 2 girls beat her up and one of the players filmed the whole thing. And then posted it on social media. They told the girl to leave, she had a friend pick her up.The case was reported to police, and under interrogation, she reported that she had gotten drunk, laid down on the bed to rest and Baldwin made non consensual advances. She was passing in and out during this and finally gave up when the others entered the room. Any way, Verdugo was present for both acts and did nothing. He was named in the complaint in the police report. The report was accompanied by photos of the bruises to the young lady. Mysteriously this all just disappeared. Under Arizona law, Verdugo is an accomplice to both crimes and could be tried as such if this ever were prosecuted.

      3. Nightingale just reporting a few minutes ago that it looks like the Twins and Red Sox are trying to get it resolved without involving the Dodgers. According to what I have read, Verdugo was not passed out, the girl was,’

  16. Okay, about 12 minutes ago Rosenthal reported that the talks are going slowly, and the Dodgers may have to acquire a prospect from another team. But the officials believe the deal will be done, but not in it’s original form. Seems they are trying to figure it out. Deal falling through would be embarrassing to all parties.

    1. Graterol was rated #53 on MLB’s Top 100 last year so we may have to do better than Maeda to get an equivalent prospect from another team.

  17. Interesting read Jefe. Not having him in the deal would cost them better prospects, but considering how AF loves hi clubhouse chemistry, they might be a lot better off without him.

      1. There seems to be a consensus that it will be finalized before the weekend, most likely some time today. After the results of Joc’s arbitration hearing are announced, that deal should be finalized also.

  18. That was an interesting link Jeff. I think Price needs a change of address desperately. The east coast ( NY, Philly, Boston) can be a tough place to play, especially if you’re a high paid free agent, that is under performing. The fans there love you or hate you, unfortunately for Price it seems the fans, media, and ownership don’t care for him much anymore. He may have brought this upon himself, but if it wasn’t for him they probably lose the series in 2018, and the fans and media still hate him.

    I don’t remember ever reading anything bad about David Price when he played for Tampa, or Toronto, but I do remember how much everyone in Boston hated Manny, heck ownership paid his salary to play for the Dodgers, they wanted him out of there so bad. He was a goof ball but he never really caused any problems with the team, the players seemed to love him, we all know the fans did.

    I am going to judge Price on how he acts as a Dodger, not as a red Sox, There is probably, at the very least, some truth to the story, for all we know the article may be 100% true, but it may also be a writer with an axe to grind, getting in one last parting shot as Price goes out the door.

    1. Good points Keith, coupled with the fact that AF knows Price from their days together in Tampa and there is no way he brings him here if he has a problem with him. Maybe my subconscious just forced me to post that link so that we could feel better if the deal falls through. Most people in the know seem to think it’s going to happen, so we can now ignore that link.

  19. I’m glad you posted that, it was interesting to get the feel of the Boston media. It’s good for us spoiled dodger fans to hear the media takes in another city.

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