As usual, we fans probably don’t have a clue what the Dodgers are up to. Just because we hear rumors from the media, doesn’t make them true. Rumors are just that, and if you expect a straight answer from FAZ about who they are interested in, you are likely smoking something that may be illegal in certain states. I have targeted Marcell Ozuna as a player I want, while we have heard Andrew Friedman say he is targeting pitching. While it is likely true he is seeking a LH arm in the pen, I think the starting pitching is just fine. The Dodgers need a RH power bat – someone who can hit 5th – that’s what they need!
I think it makes a world of sense to trade Kenta Maeda for a lefty in the pen. What teams need starters and have a very good LH in the bullpen? Lots of teams! I wouldn’t mind Andrew Miller… but that’s not happening!
The Dodgers have Verdugo and Calhoun in the pipeline and both are LH hitters, so the more I think about it, the more I understand why it makes sense to trade Joc Pederson. Remember, Andrew Toles will be back next year and he’s LH as well, so moving a LH bat makes a lot of sense. Baseball people understand slumps and Joc’s value is higher than many might think.
I do think Willie Calhoun’s bat can play very well right now in the major leagues. He only has 3 errors at 2B this year, compared to 21 last year, so he has improved in some ways. He has lost weight and moves a little better but his range is very limited. I still cannot see him at 2B in the Major Leagues. He’s a perfect DH. Edwin Rios is another LH power bat who could be solid at the next level, but he’s also a 1B or DH. The Dodgers have a plethora of LH hitters and desperately need a RH power bat, but Andrew Friedman is not going to say that.
Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com wrote this:
Manager Dave Roberts has been pretty clear that Pederson not only needs to fully recover from the effects of the concussion following his collision with Yasiel Puig and the outfield wall, but his bat needs to recover through a Minor League rehab stint and, although unspoken, possibly a Minor League option. At the time of the injury, Pederson had a disappointing slash line of .200/.309/.314. Roberts played him in 14 games against left-handed pitching and the slash was predictably worse — .174.208/.174, with no extra-base hits.
Pederson earned a fast track to the big leagues with a 30/30 season in 2014 at Triple-A. He’s stolen only 10 bases in two-plus seasons with the Dodgers. Pederson combined to slug 51 homers while playing nearly every day in 2015 and ’16. But with only two homers this year, he needs to find those 2015 skills or Taylor figures to keep the job.
Alex Verdugo went 3-5 last night with his 2nd HR and is hitting .307 with a .385 OB%. His bat may play at the big league level this year. Right now, he’s a singles hitter, but gets his share of walks as well. Willie Calhoun played LF for the second straight game and was 2-4 with a HR, triple and 5 RBI. He might be ready as well. But, that’s two more LH hitters. This makes it all the more imperative for the Dodgers to get a RH bat. Chris Taylor’s bat is in the lineup to stay. When Justin Turner comes back, Forsythe will go to 2B. Logan has been mired in a big slump, but he will come out soon and be “smoking hot.” The same is true with Cody and Corey – both of those kids show huge ability to make changes in the game and during individual at bats. I don’t worry about them. I worry about players like Puig, Pederson and Kike who don’t always make quick adjustments.
No matter what, the Dodgers are going to have to get a RH bat and Ozuna makes the most sense to me. Miami is asking for the moon as well they should. It’s going to cost the Dodgers Alvarez and two of these players: Verdugo, Pederson, Calhoun or Rios. That’s the price. Maybe even Trevor Oaks!
With each passing day, a return by Andre Ethier appears more unlikely. The Dodgers could use Verdugo or Calhoun, but one will likely get traded. I have come to expect that.