There have been a lot of speculative discussions on a potential trade for Baltimore SS Manny Machado. Bumsrap referred to a May 4, 2018 article from an Orioles fan’s point of view. If I am going to trade for a rental, it can only include players that are replaceable by others in the organization. Alex Verdugo, Mitchell White, and Jeren Kendall are all replaceable, but not Gavin Lux. If the Orioles want to consider Errol Robinson in lieu of Lux, I would be okay including Robinson, but the O’s absolutely would not consider that. I am guessing that either the Braves or Phillies will overpay, because they both have the farm to make it work, and no luxury tax concerns. Anyone thinking that rental Logan Forsythe is going anywhere as a salary dump is not being realistic. It is just wishful thinking.
I do not think this is sheer conjecture on my part. Take a look at deadline trades over the last three years:
07-31-15 – Zachary Bird, Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez to the Braves; Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham, Kevin Guzman to Miami; for Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza, Jim Johnson, and Bronson Arroyo from the Braves; Mat Latos, and Mike Morse from Miami.
07-31-15 – Mike Morse and cash to Pittsburgh for Jose Tabata.
08-19-15 – John Richy and Darnell Sweeney to Phillies for Chase Utley.
06-19-16 – Zach Lee to Seattle for Chris Taylor.
06-30-16 – Caleb Dirks and Phil Pfeifer to Braves for Bud Norris and Dian Toscano.
08-01-16 – Mike Bolsinger to Toronto for Jesse Chavez.
08-01-16 – Yordan Alvarez to Houston for Josh Fields.
08-01-16 – Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton, and Frankie Montas to Oakland for Rich Hill and Josh Riddick.
08-25-16 – A. J. Ellis, Tommy Bergjans, and Joey Curletta to Phillies for Carlos Ruiz.
07-31-17 – Willie Calhoun, A. J. Alexy, and Brendon Davis to Texas for Yu Darvish.
07-31-17 – Hendrik Clementina and SVS to Cincinnati for Tony Cingrani.
07-31-17 – Oneil Cruz, Angel German to Pittsburgh for Tony Watson.
08-19-17 – Jacob Rhame to Mets for Curtis Granderson.
Every one of the LAD traded players had at least one comparable or better player in their system. It could be argued that Willie Calhoun may not have had a comparable offensive player, but Willie did not have any defensive position that he could play adequately in the Dodgers organization. Additionally, the Dodgers had not previously considered a player at the level of Darvish, and Darvish is someone they would have considered re-signing if he had been reasonable. Edwin Rios could be a comparable potential trade for 2018.
It is entirely possible that Yordan Alvarez will become an All Star with Houston or some other team, but he did not even play for the Dodgers DSL team at the time. Nobody knew what type of player he could develop into. I recognize that many do not like Josh Fields, and I for one do not understand the resentment. He is not a lockdown reliever, but he has a 0.897 WHIP this year to date after a 0.965 WHIP for 2017. I recognize that he does allow HR’s but so does Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers coaching staff seem to coach to fastballs up in the zone, and sometimes they miss and it drops down into the zone. No Dodger pitcher throws hard enough to miss in the zone. Fields was a good acquisition for a lottery ticket. Jeff Luhnow is a very good GM and is allowed to make good “guesses” with lottery tickets.
I wrote quite a bit about catcher Hendrik Clementina last year, so I do think he might develop into a quality catcher, but as of right now he is only in the Midwest League. However, if there is one position the Dodgers are well stocked at, it is catcher. I was not as high on Oneil Cruz as others, but he is also in Low A ball for Pittsburgh. These are huge lottery tickets that may or may not work out in 3-5 years. It could be argued that both Watson and Cingrani were very helpful for LAD last year.
There is no doubt that the Dodgers were in on Cole Hamels in 2015, even though he was not a rental. It was highly speculated that Amaro insisted on Seager and at least one of Pederson or Urias as a negotiation starter. Seager was a non-starter for the Dodgers, so the talks went nowhere. None of us know for certain what the discussions were, but it is certainly logical to latch onto the popular speculation. In 2015, the Dodgers farm system was not as coveted as they have been the last couple of years. So if not Seager, who? Could the Dodgers have put together a better package than Texas? Maybe, but we will never know, because Amaro wanted the one sure thing from LAD.
It is true that the Dodgers have not been able to get that one player to take them over the top, but they also did not overpay for any of them. This is the best evidence that the Dodgers will not be in on the Manny Machado trade deadline discussions. FAZ will not overpay for a rental. There are no guarantees once the playoffs start. The idea is to get to the playoffs and get a hot hand.
I can see the Dodgers trading Verdugo, Kendall, and White, but not for a rental, and certainly not all three for a rental. IMO, FAZ believes they can get more than a rental for those players. I also think that Lux is as close to an untouchable as they have, because they do not have any other middle infielder in the minors close to Lux’s skills. I am sure that one of Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith is also untouchable, and the other one is very close. There is a little more than 6 weeks before the trade deadline ends, so speculation will be rampant through the end of July. The one constant is that FAZ will be ridiculed for whatever trade they do make, and for whatever trade they do not make.