3 Players Dodgers Could Target at 2020 Trade Deadline

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While the young 2020 season still feels that it just got underway almost yesterday, something to consider soon is the fact that the August 31 trade deadline is quickly approaching.

How the shortened season and the revamped playoff picture might affect this year’s deadline have already been the topics of many heated discussions among fans.

The most important thing to consider about this year’s postseason is that it will feature a whopping 16 teams, eight from both leagues. Two teams from each of the six divisions will secure a spot, with the final four berths going to the clubs with the best remaining records, regardless of division.

Needless to say, many teams that might have already fallen out of contention in a normal season would still certainly be in the running for a playoff spot by the time this year’s deadline rolls around. Regardless, that might not prevent some teams from building towards the future, as some of their marquee players approach their respective walk seasons.

Obviously, it’s still very, very early, but here are three names to keep in mind over the coming weeks as the Dodgers continue to evaluate their roster:

Francisco Lindor—Indians

The rumors surrounding Francisco Lindor have seemingly been attached to the Dodgers since the early days of last winter, but thoughts on the infielder may have conceivably changed with the recent addition of Mookie Betts, at least from an offensive perspective. Some believed that the intentions of Los Angeles management was to slide Corey Seager to third base with the addition of Lindor, while others felt that a hypothetical deal would have seen Seager end up with the Indians, opening the door for somebody like Edwin Rios, Kody Hoese or Cristian Santana to take the reigns at third base with Justin Turner‘s prospective departure after the 2020 season.

Like Seager, Lindor will be eligible to file for free agency after his 2021 campaign, so long he’s not extended before that time. Last year, the four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glover and two-time Silver-Slugger hit .284/.335/.518/ with 40 doubles, 32 homers, 74 RBI and 22 stolen bases, producing a 4.7 bWAR.

Lifetime, the 26-year-old native of Puerto Rico has slashed  .288/.347/.493 with 130 long balls and 384 RBI in 717 games.

Of course, the Dodgers will want to fill any immediate holes at this year’s deadline, but that might not necessarily prevent Andrew Friedman from building towards the future at the same time.

Joe Musgrove—Pirates

Joe Musgrove made his first Opening Day start after emerging as the leader of Pittsburgh’s rotation and clubhouse during the 2019 season. He had an extremely strong showing in Summer Camp, but has gotten off to a rough start over his first three regular-season outings this year. According to MLB.com, the 27-year-old right hander is one of the pitchers who stands to benefit from working with forward-thinking, analytically inclined pitching coach Oscar Marin, who has encouraged the Pirates to utilize their individual strengths rather than preaching a uniform pitching philosophy throughout the organization.

Mainly utilizing a mid-nineties fastball as his primary weapon, Musgrove has built a 28-36 lifetime record with a 4.45 ERA, but he definitely showed many flashes of brilliance during an otherwise disappointing 2019 season for the Pirates. Depending on where the Pirates stand at the end of August, they might decide to move their ace, especially when considering their position looking ahead as a rebuilding club.

The Dodgers could be interested in a starter who give them a better option than their second-tier, particularly if injuries take their toll on the front five in the Los Angeles rotation.

Musgrove will hit free agency after the 2022 season.

Josh Hader—Brewers

Flamethrower Josh Hader has been linked to the Dodgers over the past few years in the most prevalent trade rumors, but the biggest question heading into the 2020 playoffs is whether the Los Angeles bullpen will continue to dominate like it has been lately, perhaps preventing the club from not having to go out and snag a high-impact reliever.

Hader is still under team control for three additional seasons, but that might not necessarily mean the Brewers will not consider dealing him. Among the trade rumblings last winter, Milwaukee was rumored to be interested in either Gavin Lux or Dustin May as centerpieces of a prospective deal. From a Los Angeles perspective,  May is definitely off the table with Lux not far behind.

So far this season, the Brewers have posted a 3-5 record. Hader has appeared in two of those games and has yet to allow a hit.

 

32 thoughts on “3 Players Dodgers Could Target at 2020 Trade Deadline

  1. So far, it really doesn’t seem like we have any glaring holes to fill, but the season is still young.
    If things stay as they are I think AF will not be willing to overpay to bring someone in. On the other hand, the Brewers may be at the point where they are ready to move Hader for some building blocks. Don’t know what it would take, but it would certainly be worth looking into. It would probably take someone like Gray or Gonsolin plus others and who knows how many throws Hader has left in that arm before it breaks down on him.
    I would have been ready to trade Seager last year but I don’t think I realized how much less than 100% he was physically. This year he’s a beast and I wouldn’t trade him for Lindor. Having both of them in the same infield would be great, but I’ve never thought Seager wanted to play third. I’ll let AF figure that one out.

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  2. I’d love to get Josh Hader but not at the expense of May or Lux at this point. We don’t have any weaknesses or need to make any deals since our bullpen has been incredible so I think we just play with what we have. If the Brewers just wanted to get something while they could for Hader though would anyone be willing to send Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray or Gonsulin in return?

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    1. I’m really torn when it comes to Hader. Guys like that are just a TJ surgery waiting to happen. What if you give up three really good prospects and then he goes down for a year with TJ? We both agree that we don’t have any major holes to fill so I would be less inclined to give up good prospects than I would have last year. Also I think it would take at least two of those three that you mentioned, plus others, to get Hader. Probably a pass for me.

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  3. Zach McKinstry called up, Victor Gonzalez heard down. I’m happy fur McKinstry I think he’s going to h to be a good big league utility player.

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    1. They have to lop two guys off the roster tomorrow so I’m guessing McKinstry is just here for tonight’s game. Unless they put Rios on the IL in which case he’ll stick around for 10 days. I don’t see them cutting two pitchers tomorrow and I can’t think of any other position player more likely to be optioned than Mac.

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    1. Why is everyone panicking after 12 games? We wouldn’t be saying anything if the other guys were doing their jobs.
      Did you know that Smith/Barnes combined in 10 fewer at bats have more RBI than Bellinger?
      Barnes in about 70% as many at bats has one fewer RBI than Joc. Smith in about 70% as many at bats has 2.5 times as many RBI as Joc.
      OK, we probably don’t have an All Star catcher this year, but our offensive problems should not be blamed on them while we continue to say that the other guys will probably get untracked before long. Players have slumps. We need to understand that sometimes those slumps happen at the beginning of a year. This lineup should be good enough to win most games if Smith and Barnes don’t get another hit all year. If all else fails, Beaty was drafted as a catcher.

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  4. I think it’s telling in itself how good this team is and how spoiled we are as fans that we complain about our backup catcher being our #1 problem. The only thing about it I don’t see it as a problem. Maybe because I played catcher exclusively when I was younger but I know how important they are to the outcome of the game and I’ll take Barnes defensive ability and most importantly his talent for calling a good game behind the plate at the sacrifice of a little offense. I promise you’d see the difference in the score much more if you had a backup catcher who maybe hit .250-.270 but was a bad game caller and pitch framer/blocker on defense. A lot of teams would love to have Barnes backing to their starter.

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  5. The Dodgers do not need to target anyone least of all pitching. And position players only if they were to sustain multiple season ending injuries.

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  6. I think Lindor is a pipe dream for a couple of reasons. One is that what he would cost them in return would be an awful lot. Probably both Lux and Ruiz plus. And to tell the truth, the way Seager is playing, they do not need him. I do not know enough about Musgrove, but starting pitching is not a priority, Neither are relievers at this point. I think this is one trading deadline where AF does nothing unless it is a fringe player.

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      1. Thanks Gary. It is nice to have someone agree with me for a change. Not impressed with Jansen’s performance last night. Had Machado’s ball been hit deeper, Taylor would have had no shot throwing out Grisham. Strip is 3-0 and the teams best starter so far. They cut down to 28 today and that is where the roster will stay the rest of the year. They currently have 16 pitchers and 14 position players. Me, I would keep the 14 position players and send down 2 pitchers.

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      2. Yes, And Ferguson and Alexander have looked good also. I guess four lefty’s in pen are too many. Personally, I’ve never liked Kelly and wouldn’t mind moving on from him.

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      3. I saw that a little while ago. Sucks for McKinstry. I thought Dave would at least let him pinch hit for someone. Hernandez maybe. Or even Muncy who had not hit a ball hard in a week. Kolarek I think has more to do with the 3 hitter rule. But that talk could have not been easy for Roberts.

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      4. Again, I agree, but I see Mckinstry is sent down without getting an AB, and Kolarek. I figured it might be Santana, even though he has looked good. Wondering when we will see Lux?

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  7. Here’s an interesting question. With the DH most likely to be a tho g that stays beyond this year in the NL and the way Joc has proven to crush right handed pitching the last few seasons how much is a platoon LF/DH with 30+ a year HR power go for on the free market and how much would you pay to have him back? It’s been widely assumed Joc leaves after this year but he’d be playing 65% of the time with more RHP than LHP. Who m owe if he even wants to be back but what is he worth? Is he worth AJ Pollock money $4/55? I would say that’s most likely to be where I would draw the line.

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    1. Joc will probably get about the same annually as Pollock, but I doubt he gets more than three years. Pederson seems like he is losing more range with each passing game, even in the corners. I remember he could get to almost everything hit out there when he first came up. Quickness is definitely not one of his strong suits anymore. With lefty bats like Rios and Beaty (who can both play left) lurking, I don’t think the Dodgers will go too far out of their way to bring Joc back. Just my opinion.

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      1. Beaty is a decent athlete, but Rios has been rated as very slow afoot, and should not be counted on as an OF. DH, 1B and 3B in a pinch, but not OF. I have read or heard on a game, that Joc came to summer camp in great shape, a little lighter and quicker than in several years. I would definitely resign him.

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      2. I tend to agree with you Dennis. I think AF has progressively watch Joc go from starting CF hitting leadoff when he first came up to being an average at best LF who is becoming a DH only more and more as time goes on but one who has undeniable value against RHP. It’s crazy how much range Joc has lost so fast but he’s about 25 pounds heavier than when he was a rookie. I think AF would just opt for a cheaper option to use in his spot to save money for the big guys contracts coming due. If I had to put a money clue on it I say Joc gets 3 years $40 million to be a DH somewhere other than LA. I thought he could be at least a 20 steal per year guy throughout his career but now you’d be lucky to get 5 from him.

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      3. st base is always an option, but the Dodgers tried that last year, and it was a disaster. You don’t see many players strictly DHing any more. Lots of teams are using it these days to give players a semi-type of rest day by keeping them off the field defensively.

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  8. All I know is that it’s nice to have Joc’s bat in the lineup the way Muncy and Belly are going. When Joc gets hot he can carry a club. But he is a bit streaky and the Dodgers have some big paydays on the horizon so tho I love him I don’t see Dodgers matching what he’ll get on the open market.

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  9. I doubt they resign Joc simply because like most players, Joc wants to play everyday. To the Dodgers satisfaction he has not shown he can hit lefty’s. Granted, he does not get many opportunities against them. Joc also will be getting a significant pay boost next season. He is making 7.7 mil this season. How much higher would the Dodgers be willing to go>? I am guessing not a whole lot. To keep him it will undoubtedly cost at least 10-12 million, and he would not want a 1 year deal.

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    1. That is probably the case. Meaning due to cost, he goes elsewhere. In a scenario where he has another good year, the DH becomes permanent for the NL, Pollock gets injured yet again, then maybe they sign him again, because he is more of a sure thing in the OF, then anyone coming up.. of course a big year by Turner could also affect the decision, if they resign JT with idea of him filling the DH roll going forward. Lots of factors to consider going forward.

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  10. My thought’s on the 28 men on the roster now boils down to this, I do not like carrying 15 pitchers. Especially with the offense sputtering like it is. But I do understand with the starters not going very deep so far that the pitching staff is getting a lot of work. So far Roberts has avoided using any of his pitchers more than 2 games in a row. Some worked back to back last night. Treinen was a little shaky, but McGee, and Ferguson looked good. Jansen scared the beans out of me simply because nothing was not hit hard when it was hit. He came close to blowing his first save of the season. Had not Taylor been in exactly the right place and moving forward so his throw had momentum behind it, the outcome last night might have been very different. Dodgers 9-4, Rockies 8-3. Game wise they are tied, but the Rock’s percentage of wins keeps them in first, and boy am I hearing it from the Rockies fans in this building.

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    1. It was good to get 2 of 3 from Padres. Back in the spring I warned to watch out for the Padres, due to their young pitching and a solid core offensively. The Rockies pitching has surprised. They will also be dangerous if the pitching continues to be good. Let’s hope Betts is back in lineup tomorrow. I’d give Muncy a day off or at least move him down in the lineup to 6 or 7. Move Seager up in his place.

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  11. A couple of things. As for Lux, there was a story about that on the Dodgers web site yesterday. Roberts said that Lux is not ready. He came to camp late, and was not making contact at all and it seemed he had the yips throwing to second. Personally, I do not think he plays this year at all unless some unforeseen injury takes place. He simply at this point is not as good as who they have playing the position right now. Hernandez and Taylor are superior to him defensively at this point, and unless he is tearing the cover off of the ball at camp, I see no upside to his being on the team. Is he the future? Most likely. But he sure did not show that in the warmup games and I am sure the Dodgers are a little dissapointed over his getting there late. I would not hold my breath waiting for an injury to Pollock. He came into camp a little lighter than last year, and has said he feels better than he has in years. Most of his injury’s over the years have been freaks. Joc will not be re-signed simply because I do not think he takes a one year deal from anyone. And everyone seems to be forgetting the guy who was leading the Dodgers in homers this spring. Cody Thomas. Thomas is a younger cheaper version of Joc. Seager belongs in the 2 hole permanently. According to his career splits, that is where he is the most productive. Not that Roberts cares about such things, but right now, Muncy is damn near a automatic out.

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  12. As I said earlier today, I don’t expect us to bring Joc back because i think someone will make him a better offer. He is certainly not the fleet footed, base stealing outfielder we saw in the minors a few years ago, so playing him in the outfield becomes less of a benefit although I think he could certainly be OK in left for a few years yet. Joc’s future here may be influenced in part by what AF decides to do about other potential left fielders.
    Cody Thomas had a very nice spring, but I don’t see a future for him here based on his previous minor league stats. Last year at Tulsa (AA) he had a .236 BA and a .308 OBP with lots of k’s and relatively few walks in over 500 plate appearances. That was AA, so I don’t see that translating to great performance at the major league level and he’s not exactly young (almost 26 now).
    We really don’t have many good looking outfield prospects in the system. Pages is one but he’s definitely a few years away. Maybe the answer is a Beaty/Pollock platoon for the remainder of AJ’s contract. The other alternative is to trade for someone or sign a free agent. Or convince Joc he wants to stay here as a platoon player.

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