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Dodgers Looking To Upgrade Staff Ahead of Trade Deadline

Alex Wood

Where will the Los Angeles Dodgers go in their search for new starting pitchers? Names like Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray have been mentioned in rumors. Though, looking at online sports betting sites, one wonders whether this endeavor is even necessary.

After all, the Dodgers already have the best pitching numbers in the major leagues. They technically have no need for further upgrades. Then again, no team has ever complained about having too many starting pitchers, which is why Verlander from Detroit is being linked with the Dodgers.

The team has time. The trade deadline is some two weeks away which means that they can still find a mid-rotation starter and a veteran bullpen arm to augment their side. Besides their woes in 2015, this season has given the Dodgers plenty of reasons to worry.

They have experienced quite the rush of nagging rotation injuries. Someone over there clearly believes that pitching additions could mitigate some unexpected disasters down the line. If the Dodgers wanted to enter headline category, getting Sonny Gray from Oakland would certainly do the trick.

Some pundits don’t think the Dodgers will pull the trigger, though. After all, they seemed set on bringing Cole Hamels on board two years ago, only for Philadelphia to spoil the deal by asking far too much for him.

Oakland has the potential to make the cost of acquiring Sonny too high for the Dodgers to accept.

Still, no one can claim that the Dodgers are struggling. Despite the doubts raised earlier on, Kershaw and Alex Wood have made for quite the impressive combination, giving the Dodgers a lead in ERA in the major leagues. And they are not the only ones.

The Dodgers have been a team to envy this season. Though, one cannot ignore the impact the high productivity of their players has had in the long run. One example is Rich Hill. The Lefty was out of commission for five weeks this season because blisters inhibited his performance. And this was after his effective play in last season’s playoffs.

The team has assured everyone that Hill’s problems are behind him. And the fact that his return from the disabled has been followed by ten straight starts proves as much. Unfortunately, Hill wasn’t the only super star to join the disabled list.

Some skeptics might use this opportunity to air their suspicions about the Dodgers’ tendency to juggle their roster using the ten-day disabled list. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Dodger’s list of starting pitchers that have been downed is worrisome.

Julio Urias had to undergo surgery in June because of an injury that clearly ended his season. Brandon McCarthy has been having shoulder and knee problems. These days, it feels like he’s spending too much time on the disabled list, this along with Kenta Maeda and Hyun-jin Ryu.

The Dodgers have been patient. They like to take their time to build and it usually pays off, which is why they were the All-Star Betting favorites to win the World Series at one point.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t take advantage of the two-week trade deadline to augment their ranks.

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26 thoughts on “Dodgers Looking To Upgrade Staff Ahead of Trade Deadline

  1. The House that Ed Dinger rebuilt.

    When the question of pitching enters the frame, the typical playoff scenario is that if you have three strong starters and a good bullpen that you are usually pretty set. Does that description remind you of any team currently? If it reminds you of the Dodgers then you would be correct, Kershaw – Wood – Hill starting rotation is what you might describe as three strong starters. The bullpen with a thousand cast of characters which includes Baez – Jansen would be what you might describe as a good bullpen. With that said, would it make any sense to jettison any current position players or top prospects to rent another pitcher? I didn’t think so.

    If someone wants to give away a quality pitcher for very little in return (like mainly dumping a contract on the Dodgers) then you do it, otherwise you leave the dance with the one that brung you.

    1. I don’t trust Baez’s especially when he has to come into a game, with runners already on the bases.

      He also loses his confidence to easily.

      When Roberts has to go out to Baez, to give him confidence twice this year, in the regular season, how is he going he going to do under the pressure of the post season.

  2. Oh man, True Blue, Thru n Thru, you are one confused guy!!

    “Kershaw – Wood – Hill starting rotation is what you might describe as three strong starters”??

    Don’t you know, we got to jettison Hill for Moore and his 5.81 ERA? The worst part of it is, we no longer have Peraza to trade for the stud, so some say, Joc and Cory are going to have to go if you want to be still standing on October the “1th”.

    The truth is, FAZ has put together a great team, go get some Comfort Food and enjoy the ride!

    1. You must be high. Pass it around Box. so you are telling me that Kershaw Wood and Hill are not a strong starting 3? someone is definitely confused, but it ain’t me. Put down the pipe, head to the Atlantis and have some sushi at the sky terrace. so give me a team with a better starting three.

      1. I thought Kershaw, Wood and Hill were the best top three in baseball, but the three stooges on the prior thread insist we can’t have a top three without Matt Moore’s name included. You think they’re high? I’d guess a combination of acid, crystal meth, purple drank, opioids and alcohol. What say you?

      1. Orel said that probably happened with Maeda, and because for that, it would take Maeda more time, to get his good control back.

      1. May I be the first to congratulate them. They get a big fat useless has been. Is he going to be the new mascot?
        Maybe represent the Giants in a Dodger Dog eating contest?

  3. Dodgers Digest has a nice series going on trade targets. I’ve been waiting for them to put up the Brad Hand piece, they’ve already put up Justin Wilson and Britton previously. These are all good lefty relievers, of course.

    Here are my thoughts on trading for these relievers.

    Britton. Great profile and complements our bullpen perfectly. Health is a major question mark. Elite groundball pitcher with great strike out to walk ratio.

    Hand. Power lefty with fastball and slider having been converted to relief pitcher a couple of years ago. A lot of sliders. Very good strike rate (32%). Some scouts compare him to Andrew Miller, although Hand has not been a closer. Untested in playoff and high leverage situations, and has been used a lot over the last 2 years (89 innings last year, 48 innings so far this year). Hand had 3 blown saves this year and 6 blown last year.

    Wilson. Power lefty with an elite strikeout rate (37%!) but a higher walk rate. Not sure if this is a mirage. I think of Wilson as a lefty Baez but who has been pitching as a closer for a bad team. Having a breakout year and not really tested in playoff situations, but only 1 blown save this year (5 last year but not as a closer). Wilson has 35 innings on his arm this year and less than 60 last year.

    What we know is that Padres are askng a lot for Hand. Dodgers Digest suggests, if a trade is made, we would have to give up someone like Brock Stewart or Imani Abdullah. I like both too much to want to give them up. But if you look at Hand’s numbers, it’s not that much better than Wilson, and I think universally people think the Tigers will be asking for less. Also, Hand’s heavy usage is a bit of a concern for me. Remember Blanton ran out of gas at roughly 85-90 innings last year. Another issue is that Hand is in NL, so a guy like Calhoun will have less value to the Padres than the Tigers. One trade chip that was mentioned is Gavin Lux, our top pick last year – I actually like that idea a lot – we won’t need another short stop until Justin Turner moves off third base after his current contract, and even after Seager goes to 3rd, it may be that Taylor takes over SS.

    On Britton, I think if we can trade either Verdugo or Alvarez, that would be a win, but I also think the price for Britton may be dropping and maybe we can do a Calhoun, Sborz and Sheffield deal for him later this month (I hope).

    As of now, I’d pass on Hand, and focus on Wilson and Britton. Actually we may have enough trade chips, like Lux, Calhoun, Sheffield, Kyle Farmer, Sborz, Font, Dickson, Dustin May, etc., to land both (which means Romo and Hatcher are both out). Those players are all being blocked for the next 2-3 years and have value for other teams (in the AL). Wouldn’t that be something? We get Britton plus Wilson, and still keep Verdugo and Alvarez … one can only dream.

  4. On starting pitchers, like many here I am not sure we need one. Dodgers Digest has profiled Yu Darvish and Archer. Short summary – asking price probably too high. They have not profiled Verlander, who I think can be had much cheaper due to his contract.

    One thing about trade for other team’s starters. In general I would want pitchers with low walk rates and a track record of success late in the season. I think even if a pitcher is having a bad ERA year or a low K% year elsewhere, Dodger Stadium and our defense will generally give them a boost. Low walk rate and ability to tough things out is more important to me in a starter, but what do I know.

  5. Love this recent quote by McCullough:

    The cruel thing about baseball is that none of it will matter if they don’t win in October. But this Dodgers team is something to behold.

  6. They’ve cleaned up the hitting wRISP from last night’s game. 13 hits, 5 walks, only 7 left on base. It’s just a matter of focus for this team – the talent is there.

    Seager has 2 hits with RISP and 2 outs. He’s been hitting well for a month now.

    Seager and Kershaw looks like they’re done with pacing themselves and starting to take their gloves off ….

  7. Notes on the team:

    Melvin Jimenez was promoted to the @greatlakesloons. He’s 17. Hype.

    Liberatore is still rehabbing in AZ, several weeks away at best.

    Dayton expected to be activated for this weekend.

    Ryu starts Monday.

    Bluto speculation: maybe Kershaw onto the DL next?

    Rosenthal reports:
    The Dodgers would like to add an impact left-handed reliever (Hand, Britton, Justin Wilson) but “[are] wary of overpaying for 15-20 innings of a pitcher who will have zero impact on them winning the division.”

    From a recent BP chat:
    Geronimo (West Lafayette): How good can Starling Heredia be? Is he a top 50 prospect next season?

    Brett Cowett: Dude puts in effort. The body doesn’t look like an outfielder but the man busts his ass on the basepaths, and has fast enough hands to come around on high fastballs, and that’s where he taps into his plus power. I wouldn’t say Top 50 just yet – or at least until he destroys some pitching in the A-ball levels – but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Dodgers ended up with yet another stud outfielder.

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