Jeff has noted that many teams will be looking for pitching this trade season. With Kershaw, May and Heaney coming back and with this aforementioned problem with Mitch White, (Not to mention Grove and Jackson in AAAA)
I kinda have to think the Dodgers will be in a position to almost have to trade pitching for players or prospects.
I was going to respond to that, but then again, it is a good topic for its own post. So, thank you Bluto.
When Kershaw and Heaney return to the rotation, that will give the Dodgers 7 starting pitchers if you include Mitch White, and I choose to. He has earned that, certainly as much as has Andrew Heaney. This does not include Danny Duffy who could be back by the All Star break.
Ryan Pepiot would make several MLB rotations this year, and they would work through his command issues. The Dodgers have the luxury of allowing him to develop his starter status in AAA.
Bobby Miller seems to be getting better with his command this year. Now he has to prove he can get through 6.0 and 7.0 innings in a AA environment. But the Dodgers development team are more concerned with keeping the pitch count down. I disagreed with others who thought that Miller would be in the LAD rotation by the All Star break, but that did not mean that I thought he wasn’t a top prospect. I did then and still do. He just is not ready. Gavin Stone has a better chance to make the jump than does Miller.
Gavin Stone has been better than advertised and looks to be the steal of the 2020 draft for the Dodgers. It is one thing to dominate in a pitchers A+ league, but then another to dominate in AA. And there is no other way to describe his AA season thus far. Sheer dominance. How much longer before he gets pushed even further into AAA.
That would seem to indicate that Pepiot, Miller, and Stone would be untouchable RHP at the trade deadline. That would leave Mitch White, Andre Jackson, Landon Knack, Clayton Beeter, and Michael Grove as RHP that are ML ready or near ML ready that teams may be interested in. There are dozens of lower level pitching prospects that teams may be interested, and the Dodgers have so many in that 15-45 prospect level that they can deal from strength.
I am loath to include White in the list, but in order to get value, one must trade value. But my hesitancy is that I do not believe there will be a pitcher at the top of the rotation available at the deadline that would necessitate the inclusion of Mitch White. And certainly not a one-year rental. So would the Dodgers include White in a trade for Frankie Montas or Luis Castillo? You would be trading 5.5 years of control for 1.5 years for either pitcher.
Martín Pérez is a potential rental, and maybe one of Jackson, Knack, Beeter or Grove and a lottery pick would be enough to get him. But I would not trade Mitch White straight up for Martín Pérez.
Now if Miami considers trading Pablo Lopez, I would have to consider Mitch White as a key part of the package. Edwin Rios going home? Bluto, you have an assignment. What would a White/Rios/Knack for Pablo Lopez deal look like. What about switching Knack for Jacob Amaya?
However, with the number of starting pitchers the Dodgers currently have in the loop, and an Ace (Max Scherzer level) seemingly not being available, the Dodgers could (probably should) hold onto White and stick him in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Let him percolate as did Tony Gonsolin. This year’s surplus is going to be dissipated next year with Kershaw, Heaney, and Tyler Anderson all FA, and White can be as good as anybody’s #4 or #5.
The bullpen needs help. The Dodgers did not listen to me when I suggested that they should pursue Ryan Pressly and Taylor Rogers. 😉😉 I have not been looking at the potential RP rentals this year as I was hoping that the bullpen would be a strength. Over the last few weeks, it has been anything but. With White and probably one of Heaney/Anderson headed to the bullpen, the multi inning reliever bucket is full. It is going to be crowded when Duffy joins the team.
But the late inning and/or high leverage innings are another story. Blake Treinen is not due back until at least the All Star break. Victor Gonzalez is probably done for the year. Craig Kimbrel is currently on paternity leave, but will be back soon. But which Craig Kimbrel will the Dodgers get? I do believe that with his plus fastball and plus plus change that Ryan Pepiot can be an option. Dustin May could be an option at the end of the year.
But those are possibilities. What about that one, two, three person bullpen that you can absolutely count on? I do believe that Knack, Beeter, Grove, and Jackson (and others) can be useful in acquiring a top reliever (or two). I will start to look at possibilities as we get closer to the deadline, and teams start to look to sell.
I am also inclined to go with Badger and consider that the better pitchers, like Michael Kopech, can dominate the Dodgers. José Quintana shut down the Dodgers twice this year. The Dodgers did hit Sean Manaea, but not Yu Darvish. They have not faced Logan Webb or Joe Musgrove. Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer should be back when the Dodgers go to NY at the end of August.
One hitter many LAD fans have always seemed to be clamoring for is JD Martinez. Dodgerrick was a strong advocate for JDM way back early in 2017 when it was clear that the Tigers were going to move him. Arizona did not give up much to acquire him (3 lottery picks that none have worked out). Might he have been a help in the 2017 WS (even with the cheating)?
It looks like JDM could be a rental trade target again this year. JDM hits both RHP and LHP, but he is especially lethal against LHP. His HR power is diminished this year, but not his bat to ball skills. He is slashing .359/.422/.552/.974. He may have only 5 HRs, but he has 20 doubles. Sounds very much like Freddie Freeman.
What would a rental package of JDM and Michael Wacha cost? That is definitely a package I could get behind.
As we get closer to the deadline, we will learn more about the status of the starters’ health (Kershaw and Heaney). We will learn whether Walker Buehler has found his 4-seamer. We will learn how the Dodger hitters fare against better pitching in SD and SF. We will learn whether the Dodger hitters will score runs for Julio. Other tough pitchers the Dodgers may be facing before the deadline to assess their offense:
- Cleveland – Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie
- LAA – Patrick Sandoval* and Shohei Ohtani
- Atlanta – Max Fried* and Kyle Wright
- St. Louis – Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson
That does not take into consideration pitchers similar to Taijuan Walker, Mitch Keller, and Zach Thompson they are bound to face that the LAD offense did not punish.
Regardless, the Dodgers still have 7-8 weeks to evaluate their own organizational talent and look to see if anyone out there can help them more than who they presently have. There are certainly improvements that will be available. But will the Dodgers be willing to trade, and who?
Good article, Jeff.
I agree with Badger that the team needs another #1 or #2 starting pitcher. Who and for what cost I do not know. I leave that to AF.
Me thinks our friend, Bum, may have a few suggestions up his sleeve.
Yeah, I push back on this.
Starters, more times than not, only go 5 innings in the playoffs. For 5 innings is it really that much of an improvement over Buehler (an improved Buehler, admittedly) or Urias? Or even over Kershaw?
I really think not. So, barring injuries I’m back to wondering if the team moves players for young prospects.
The Dodgers are not selling, they are going to be buying in some fashion. Who, I have no idea. They are in a win now mode. Who would you trade that would bring back anything other than a lottery pick? Mitch White? Unless I get back someone better, I would hold onto him until they learn who will be back next year. Edwin Rios? Maybe a 20-30 prospect, but why trade him when they need him this year? I think the Dodgers will trade from strength, RHP, to get a top reliever (or two) and a bat. I do not believe a top of the rotation pitcher will be available. But I trust AF and BG will talk to every team to see if they can find one.
I guess I do not have as much faith in the health of the LAD starters as you do. Last year the Dodgers had three bullpen games in the playoffs because they did not have enough starting pitching. This year is going to be different??? Based on the continuance of Tony G and Tyler Anderson who have never approached this level of success? If the Dodgers are going to continue at this pace, Gonsolin will need to pitch at least 150 innings. That is three times his best year IP. Anderson is special for the first 60 games. He has never been this pitcher. You fully expect that to continue. Kershaw and Heaney have already gone out once. You are convinced that will be the only time? And you are convinced that there is nothing wrong with Buehler?
I truly hope that the Catman and Anderson continue on their CY pace for the entire year. They are only 1/3 through the year. I truly hope that Buehler finds the magic in his spin rate again. I truly hope that Kershaw and Heaney will beat the odds and stay healthy the rest of the year. But that is not how a contending baseball executive should look at it. Maybe hope is enough. It wasn’t last year, and they even made a major trade. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
I guess I’m anticipating the trades like those that brought back Ryan Noda (spelling?) or Kendall Williams.
There’s already a Rule 5/40 man crunch. Gotta get value for assets one way or the other.
Definitely could be in the off-season though. I just see it more of a sellers market at the deadline?
Last year the Dodgers were fortunate that a #1 was a rental on a selling team, Max Scherzer. This year? With the expanded playoffs, teams will be holding out longer. But the teams I truly believe will be sellers (not in the NL West), Cincinnati, Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, KC, Oakland (maybe Pittsburgh and Miami). I arbitrarily used 5.0 GB wild card. Pittsburgh and Miami are 5.5 so anything is possible, but neither team is strong enough to make a true push this year.
The closest to #1 or #2 are Luis Castillo (Cincinnati) and Frankie Montas (Oakland). Miami has two Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez. They are not going anywhere. I doubt they would even move Trevor Rogers. The future (imminent and long-term) for Detroit and KC rests in their young pitching. Not the established Ace on a seller. Washington’s Ace is JoJo Gray. They cannot give Patrick Corbin away.
One other point (IMHO), the The Dodgers do not trade for Scherzer without Trea Turner in the deal. I think Scherzer was on his way to SD. The Dodgers moved their #1 and #2 prospects for Scherzer and Turner. Is there anyone out there you would be willing to trade Diego Cartaya and Bobby Miller for?
Since I know nothing, I can only go to the trade value simulator.
And it’s a complete non-starter from Miami’s POV:
Name. Position. MTV ($Ms)
Amaya. SS. 7
Knack. RHP. 5.6
Rios 1B. 1
White. RHRP. 0.3
Total Value: 13.90
Pablo Lopez SP 57.3
So that’s a big no??😥
Rios and White a combined 1.3? Lopez, 57? I’m not buying those evaluations. I am buying that trade though. I think Miami would be very interested in Rios and Amaya.
I have no clue what they will be looking for. But I know this, Chris Taylor is a much better player when he is used as a super sub. He is no everyday left fielder. He strikes out way too much. Bellinger will probably never be the same player he was in 19. But who would you trade him for? Compare stats on the All Star ballot and most of the so called stars are way below their best years. And most outfielders are hitting no where near .300. Broxton, who one poster on another site keeps pushing for is hitting only .223.
It’s Buxton and I would still swap Bellinger for Buxton in a heartbeat.
I have no clue what will be needed in 7 weeks. So much is dependent on who is healthy and if Gonsolin and Anderson maintain their current pace. My guess would be no, they won’t, so I would look for pitching. But then, our offense, through today pretty much dependent on our top 3 hitters, might need an uplift if they should suddenly slump. The bottom of our order, even with Lux, is OPS’n below league average. It would be nice to add some thunder, but that’s what Bellinger, Turner, Muncy, Smith and Taylor are for. If as a group they don’t return to form, then yeah, a hitter. If Gonsolin, if Anderson, if Kershaw, if Heaney, if Buehler then yeah pitching.
For now I’m waiting several weeks before I say anything affirmative but I’m also keeping the phone lines open.
Thanks for a very thought-provoking article Jeff.
Some random thoughts:
1) I think that we may place a higher trade value on White than opposing teams do. In other words I don’t think he’d bring as much back in trade as you suggest.
2) No way the Marlins do your suggested Lopez trade. They would start by putting names like Miller, Vargas, etc. into the deal
3) You mention that Pepiot might be a late inning relief option. That would scare the daylights out of me, at least until he gets a firm grip on his control and cuts down on walks.
4) Just like I can’t really count on Anderson and Gonsolin to maintain their spectacular starts to the year, I also wouldn’t count on Wacha to do so. I think someone else would pay more for him in prospects than AF would. This is assuming the Sox are sellers at the deadline and not buyers. Don’t look now but if the playoffs started today Boston would be in the playoffs.
5) JD Martinez? I’m in, if he’s available. We know he likes Dodger Stadium, having had a very rare 4-homer game there in 2017.
6) I would definitely explore a trade for Andrew Benintendi. He had a great start to his career, then a few unspectacular years, but has found himself again this year. Shouldn’t cost a huge amount in prospects because he’s a free agent this winter.
7) Closer – I don’t expect AF to bring back Kimbrel next year and, although Kenley will also be a free agent, I don’t expect him back either. Even assuming that Treinen is back and healthy I much prefer him as needed rather than as closer. Therefore, I would like to trade for a closer with some amount of time left on his contract. My first choice would be Bednar. What I see in his stats leads me to believe he could continue his excellence for the next few years and he could slot right into the Kimbrel/Kenley spot next year, leaving Treinen for the 7th or 8th inning. Bazooka has not shown me that he’s ready. Neither has Pepiot. What would Bednar cost? Probably more than AF would pay, but I would at least make that call. How about White or Grove, McKinstry or Eddy Alvarez and Vivas or Leonard? Too much, not enough?
Since you asked:
If the Dodgers traded:
White, Grove, McKinstry, Vivas, AND Leonard
It would come to a simulated or expected value of 12.6
Bednar alone has a value of:
As the OP would say, another big NO
OK Bluto. I’ll try to do better and come back to you in a little bit. I really want Bednar.
Always try to do better.
But, I have no interest in running trade simulations solely.
Anyone can, and it’s fucking fun.
It’s so much fun, that I found a trade that works
Bednar and Marcano
On the side, it’s amazing how much value developing catchers can produce.
Yeah. That was fun.
Really? You wouldn’t even consider that?
I know Cartaya is well-regarded, but he’s blocked and there are other catchers in the system.
I understand that Ruiz (and co.) got Scherzer and Turner, but Bednar’s contract is almost obscene:
And Marcano is not eligible for arbitration until 2025!!!!
I did consider it. It’s an interesting proposal. I believe Cartaya is a generational catcher. Bednar would be a great addition, but, I don’t do that deal.
The Cartaya thing is going to be really interessting. Even moreso than Ruiz.
Smith is in ARB years until 2025. If the team tries to do a deal with him, I’d imagine the do it soon so they can lower the AAV by giving up the Arb years discount.
If that happens (welcome to Hypothetical land, Bluto) Cartaya is blocked.
If that doesn’t happen, then the Dodgers are letting one of the best young catchers in the game (Rautchman aside?) to just go? Or don’t they have to trade him before 2025?
Smith could DH and share catching duties. I doubt the Dodgers will allow Cartaya to be blocked.
Here’s another one that works.
Bednar for Busch and Wilman Diaz.
Marcano really has good plate discipline. Walks a lot. That’s an interesting trade, but not worth giving up Cartaya.
Diaz is kind of an unknown. 18 years old means he’s years away. Busch could play in Pittsburgh now. Guess I would probably do that one. Considering 4 innings a night of bullpen work you just can’t have too many good arms down there, though Kahnle and Treinen coming back could accomplish the same thing.
Frankly I’m still looking for starting pitching.
1. I have always maintained that Mitch White is at best a #4 or #5 starter, but more likely a multi inning reliever. However, I cannot see LAD trading him until they see who comes back next year. He is an emergency starter and will undoubtedly be needed before the year is out. I do not think Mitch is better than Ross Stripling, and all the Dodgers got back for Strip was yet another RHP who is at least 3 years away from MLB, Kendall Williams who does not project to be a comp to either Strip or White. So why trade him? I agree with you, he is more valuable to the Dodgers than any other team at this time.
2. I do not truly believe that Pablo López will be traded. It was always a pipe dream. But I was thinking of possible Aces on a team that is probably not in a buying mode this year. Sandy Alcantara just signed a 5 year extension, so he is off the table. Thus López. I doubt they would trade Taylor Rogers. I know that it is sacrilegious to say, but Miami has two higher rated pitching prospects than Bobby Miller, and three higher rated than Pepiot. So Miller is not going to excite Miami.
3. Admittedly, I am more bullish on Pepiot than most. I also still consider him a huge relief risk. But IMO his changeup is a game changer. With only one inning, I think Pepiot can be more aggressive. Devin Williams or Game Over???
4. I think Michael Wacha is in the same boat as is Texas’ Martín Pérez. They are both playing way over their norms, and I have no confidence that their start will continue. I also have no confidence that it won’t. I agree with you that someone is going to overpay and hope they continue to excel. And I agree with you, it will not be AF.
5. The same as with Wacha, JDM is not going anywhere if Boston is still in the hunt. But if he is moved, you know AF will be on the phone.
6. Benintendi is going to be moved. But at 27 maybe KC looks to extend him. They do not have any OF prospects above A+ and only one above top 23 (#10 at A). They have the young pitching with more on the way. He was raised in Cincinnati and went to the University of Arkansas. So middle America seems to suit him. The negative for the Dodgers is…do they need another LH hitter. I do think he is a target for the Padres.
7. Bednar is less likely to be moved than Bryan Reynolds. But I get your point. The Dodgers do not have an obvious closer candidate. But I would at least like to see how Yency Almonte continues to grow. He is getting more and more high leverage opportunities. I see a lot of similarities to the rise of Liam Hendriks in Yency. The Bazooka just does not have enough movement on his fastball to be that guy. I will have to put my reliever search hat to see if I can find another Ryan Pressly or Taylor Rogers. Maybe AF will listen to me this year. BTW, Caleb is getting closer.
Andrew Heaney goes for his 2nd rehab start tonight.
The Blue Jays just called up phenom catcher Gabriel Moreno. That makes the top two catcher prospects called to the ML (Adley Rutschman and Moreno).
As I remember, Wacha was available when the Dodgers selected Seager. Wasn’t that mentioned when Wacha shutout the Dodgers in a Playoff game a few years ago while Seager was still in the minors? If so, getting Wacha now comes with some history.
If Cartaya is ready for the 2025 season then Smith could move to third base.
If Trea does not re-sign then Lux moves to SS and Busch takes over 2B.
If command and control are required for a closer then Knack and his scouting grade 60 fastball, 50 curveball, 55 slider, 55 changeup, 70 control might make him a closer candidate.
I still like pairing starters.
Kershaw and White
Gonsolon and Anderson
Urias and White
Buehler and Heaney
Pepiot and Grove
Two or three short relievers