Nothing like the July non-waiver trade deadline to get baseball-minded folks excited in terms of what their favorite team’s main priorities should be. For the past few weeks, many analysts and experts have stated that perennial All-Star shortstop and current franchise-face of the Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado is the player the Dodgers currently have their sights set on to upgrade their roster. However, it’s probably not close to the best available move.
If there’s one thing that can be said about the management crew of the Dodgers during the weeks leading up to the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline, it would be the fact that there are not many clues being left behind as to what intentions the club truly has in terms of upgrading the team. Several weeks ago, we heard about a possible interest in Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom, but that prospective deal was nixed when the New York brass requested young right-hander Walker Buehler in return. Next, the Manny Machado talks gained heavy momentum, as the Dodgers actually appeared as favorites to land the All-Star shortstop at one point. Finally, we heard whispers of the Los Angeles front office contacting the Marlins to prospectively gain the services of one of their young relievers.
With the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline now only a few weeks away, pundits around the league are still only speculating about any potential moves from the Dodgers, as the club’s front office continues to appear relatively calm, despite the team’s obvious need for one or more roster upgrades.
Welcome to July! The month of July means a lot of things in baseball. It’s when the division race starts to take shape. It’s when potential MVP Candidates and Cy Young Award hopefuls start to become clear (I’m looking at you, Matt Kemp and Ross Stripling) and it’s when pennant-winning trades start to happen.
While some fans of the Dodgers believe the club should pursue offensive help as the summer trade deadlines approach, I’m still among those who believe that pitching—most specifically several upgrades in the bullpen—are necessary to make a run at the 2018 postseason. Yes, the team has struggled with the lumber in the weekend series against the Rockies, but I still feel there’s enough firepower on the 25-man roster to do the job scoring runs.
Up until yesterday, there really hasn’t been much chatter linking the Dodgers to any prospective blockbuster trades with rival clubs anytime soon. Sure, there have been a few whispers about a bullpen upgrade or two, but for the most part, the juicy, eye-opening rumors have been non-existent. However, after Bob Nightengale of the USA Today published a story stating that the Dodgers are the favorites to land Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado, quite the stir began to circulate among Los Angeles fans everywhere.
With the non-waiver trade deadline now circling around the six-week mark, it’s probably not too early to talk about some potential deals in which the Dodgers could be interested. Several weeks back, Manny Machado was certainly atop the wish-list of many fans, but while the asking price for Machado will likely be a bit too salty for the Los Angeles front office crew, there are definitely several more under-the-radar type players who could be a better fit.
The front office has made it abundantly clear this off-season that they’re not going to make any big splashy moves, or add any money to their payroll. They like the team where it is, and they’re setting it up nicely for the future. But, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to be having a fire sale, and why wouldn’t the Dodgers at least want to check in on how they could acquire Chris Archer and Kevin Kiermaier.
In case you haven’t heard the most recent rumblings, the Dodgers had representatives in Seattle today to view a showcase of righty pitcher Tim Lincecum, who sat out all of the 2017 season after his attempted comeback in 2016 essentially failed.