We are just a little over a month away from the 2021 summer trade deadline when some teams look to trade players as they gear up for potential playoff runs. The Dodgers obviously will be one of the contenders, but will they add anyone or stay pat?
As we all know, Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman could have something up his sleeve, as the Albert Pujols signing earlier came out of the blue. But also it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dodgers stay conservative.
If you look at what the Dodgers need, the first answer that comes to mind is simply getting healthy. The team hasn’t been healthy all season, it’s been an injury carousel. Once the team is close to full strength, there aren’t many weak points.
The Dodgers should get Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Max Muncy in the coming days and weeks back in the lineup. The Dodgers have been chasing the Giants for quite some time now, so they will look to get over that edge once they return to full strength.
Possibly, the team can look to add an extra outfielder or a bench bat with a proven track record in case of another injury. Another place where the Dodgers could add someone is the bullpen.
Where the Dodgers can certainly improve is in extra innings. So far, they are 1-7 in extra-inning games. Overall, the bullpen hasn’t been horrible as Kenley Jansen has posted quite a nice resume this year. Left-hander Victor Gonzalez and right-hander Blake Treinen have been quite effective as set-up relievers. However, the next tier of relivers has been mediocre at best.
Several names that can be in the running as trade candidates are Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners or Richard Rodriguez from the Pittsburgh Pirates, both who are solid options out of the bullpen. The right-hander Graveman has posted a 1.31 ERA in 20 ⅔ innings this year. Rodriguez, who’s been closing games for the Pirates, has posted a 1.91 ERA in 28 ⅓ innings. Both teams figure to be out of contention this year, so they can very much be sellers.
Another option could be getting another starter, although this may be a less popular choice. Should the team be full strength for the playoffs, the Dodgers could move Julio Urias to the bullpen as they have in the past couple of postseasons. We saw how effective he was out of the bullpen last year.
One name that surely stands out is Max Scherzer. The veteran is in the last year of his deal and can be a difference-maker for any team. I personally believe the chances for the Dodgers to pull a deal off for Scherzer are slim, but it would not surprise me if they added another starter in some shape or form.
Ultimately, I think the Dodgers stay a bit conservative this trade deadline, perhaps adding a marginal player or two at the last minute, while hoping to stay healthy into the stretch run of the season.
After Monday’s tough loss to the Padres, the Dodgers look to rebound in the middle game. Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers against fellow lefty Blake Snell. Kershaw this season is 8-6 with a 3.36 ERA while Blake Snell is 2-3 with a 5.72 ERA.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.