The Chicago White Sox seemingly kicked off the trade season on Thursday by sending Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for four prospects, headlined by Eloy Jimenez. Teams have just over two weeks until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline arrives.
The Los Angeles Dodgers to this point are said to be searching for a starting pitcher, left-handed reliever, and right-handed hitter. How aggressively or which they prioritize, can be debated.
Signs would point to the bullpen, however, as the Dodgers were linked to Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, Detroit Tigers closer Justin Wilson, and San Diego Padres relief pitcher Brad Hand, among others.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Padres asked for Alex Verdugo to be included in a potential trade for Hand:
The San Diego Padres asked for big Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo in talks regarding fine lefty reliever Brad Hand, sources tell FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and Robert Murray.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi recently said he did not envision the club parting with Verdugo in a trade prior to the non-waiver deadline. As one of the youngest players in the Pacific Coast League at 21 years old, the outfielder has established himself as one of the organization’s top hitting prospects.
Verdugo is batting .346/.416/.463 with 18 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 42 RBI in 79 games during his first season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. What’s more, he has more walks (35) than strikeouts (32) through the first half of the season.
Verdugo is fourth in the PCL in batting average and on-base percentage, and he leads Oklahoma City in batting average and with 103 total hits. Verdugo strung together a career-best 20-game hitting streak, which included 14 multi-hit contests.
He was named to the World Roster for the 2017 Futures Game and was among four Oklahoma City Dodgers who earned a selection to the Triple-A All-Star Game. The Detroit Tigers are said to have Verdugo high on their wish list in the event they elect to become sellers at the trade deadline.
Hand is 2-4 with two saves, a 2.30 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 1.00 WHIP in 42 games this season. He was the lone Padres player named to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.