Three weeks for the trade deadline and rumors without knowledge continue to excite or anger baseball fans across the country. It is fun to read other fans takes on their teams and how their prospects line up with others. I was really enjoying Brewers’ fans takes that Keston Hiura should not be included in any trade for Manny Machado, but the Dodgers are silly for not including Verdugo or Ruiz who are both rated higher than Hiura…and I am a Keston Hiura fan. I was upset that the Brewers took him last year, as I was hoping he would slip down to LAD. He is a hitting machine, but so is Verdugo who is a couple months older than Hiura and flourishing in AAA while Hiura is still in A+. Makes no difference because neither Verdugo or Hiura are going for a rental, even one as good as Machado.
The latest on the Dodgers was Asdrubal Cabrera, Brian Dozier, and Scooter Gennett. Cabrera and Dozier are each rentals, and while each are better defensively than Muncy, neither will hit with him. So, there is really no place for either of them. Gennett is somewhat different in that he has one more year of control, and maybe Lux will be ready by 2020 to assume 2B.
While I would not be opposed to a Scooter Gennett if the price was right, he is not needed with Muncy continuing to hit. But Muncy is not a long-term solution at 2B, and if the Dodgers could get Gennett, Muncy could play 1B with Belli out in CF. I agree with Bums that Muncy’s value is sky high right now, but I would not consider moving him until winter. There is no reason to mess with the chemistry that is working in the clubhouse or with the fans.
The only other position player the Dodgers should consider would be Machado because he is a game changer. But not for an overpay. It appears that the Yankees are now in on the discussion, but that does not make sense as they need starting pitching not infield help. But I can see a three-way trade with LA. Mark hit on it yesterday with Wood going to NYY for prospects, and prospects going to Baltimore with Machado and Britton to LAD. Maybe the Dodgers include a Rios and get a lottery middle infield or pitcher pick from NYY or Baltimore. Alex Wood is my favorite Dodger not named Corey Seager, but I am a Dodgers fan first and foremost, and the 2018 Dodgers would improve their chances without mortgaging their future.
Machado does not solve the most glaring problem the Dodgers have…relief pitching. Wood could be a solution for 2018, and he could return to the rotation for 2019, which is his walk year. Maeda could go to the pen, but not before the post season. With Kershaw/Hill/Buehler/Wood/Ryu/Stripling/Maeda, two are going to need to go to the bullpen when Ryu returns (after the AS break?), and a third for the post-season. Wood is the logical choice as he is a lefty who can go multiple innings thereby replacing Caleb Ferguson who would be optioned when Ryu or Cingrani return. But I see him more in the Andrew Miller role and not the lockdown 8th inning reliever. FAZ should not be shy to push for Barraclough and Steckenrider from Miami or Treinen from Oakland. But that window (Treinen) may be closing as the A’s do not believe they are out of it, and Treinen is not going anywhere as long as the A’s are in contention for a post season game. Even as remote as it may be, why tell the team and the 200 fans they do have that you have given up.
The Fish do not want to trade Barraclough or Steckenrider and instead are pushing Adam Conley and Brad Ziegler. Apparently FAZ has checked in on Ziegler because he has a 0.86 ERA since June 1. Unfortunately, he also let 25% of inherited runners score which does not go against his ERA.
We already know that there is a glut of starting pitching for the second half 2018, and here are the next group over the next 2-3 years (all top 30 prospects).
Dean Kremer (Last year at this time, Caleb Ferguson was an unknown…except for some of us).
That does not include Brock Stewart or Andrew Sopko or Devin Smeltzer who are not in the top 30 but could be good fillers in packages.
Relievers who could be up in the next 2-3 years include (albeit the last three would be OKC/LA frequent flyers):
Next year Jeren Therrien will be available, and I project he will be a good one.
Now the outfielder prospects.
Kyle Garlick (the same people that discounted Scott Schebler discount Garlick)
Not all will make it, but every one of them has a chance, and for some team that is all that is needed. This also does not consider the players already under contract in Great Lakes/Ogden/AZL/DSL. Nor does it consider Edwin Rios who needs to be in the AL as Willie Calhoun was. It also does not consider Starling Heredia who I do not know what is up with him.
You can only have so many players on your 25 man (or 40 man) at one time. FAZ will always find that 25-30 man depth. There are untouchables. Everybody has their favorites. But depending on the return, the Dodgers have too much depth that may be able to be flipped to help the chances for 2018 and maybe 2019. But if FAZ’s focus is on Adam Conley and Brad Ziegler, then LAD will continue to carry the depth above and fight their way to a WC slot with another 3-4 teams. The Giants just moved Austin Jackson and Cory Gearrin for contract relief, probably for relief help. That opened up spots for Steven Duggar in CF and hard throwing Ray Black for the bullpen. Black can bring it as he has touched 100 on multiple occasions.
I have no problem with NYY, Boston, and Houston having better teams than LAD, because only one of them gets to the WS, and there anything can happen. FAZ will not overpay for a rental, but they should strongly consider Barraclough and Steckenrider and not focus on Conley and Ziegler. It is also FAZ’s MO to wait until the last minute to work the best deal, so while it is fun to conjecture, I would not expect anything significant until July 31 (although I hope I am wrong).