Having made a splash last winter by re-signing Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason without any glaring needs. For a team that won 104 games and fell just short of a World Series title, improving didn’t figure to be an easy task.
General manager Farhan Zaidi stated as much, adding the front office was juggling how to potentially improve a talented roster without blocking the ascension of their young players. Their focus thus far has been on getting below the luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season.
Los Angeles took a giant step toward that by swinging a trade with the Atlanta Braves to shed Scott Kazmir, Adrian Gonzalez and Brandon McCarthy, along with Charlie Culberson, while taking back Matt Kemp and the two years remaining on his contract.
Next for the Dodgers appears to be a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers would acquire Scott Alexander, send Luis Avilan to the White Sox, and Trevor Oaks to the Royals:
Sources: The Dodgers are close to finalizing a three-team trade that would bring LHP Scott Alexander to LA, send RHP Trevor Oaks to KC and send LHP Luis Avilan to White Sox.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) January 4, 2018
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers will also lose a Minor League infielder as part of the trade:
Alexander, a left-hander will replace free agent Tony Watson in #Dodgers’ bullpen. Comes with five years of control. LAD also parting with minor-league IFer in addition to Avilan and Oaks.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 5, 2018
Along with Alexander, the Dodgers are also due to receive Minor League utility man Jake Peter, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:
Infielder Jake Peter is going from the #WhiteSox to the #Dodgers as part of 3-team trade with #Royals. Peter is a former 7th round pick out of Creighton. He's a .282 hitter over four minor-league seasons.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 5, 2018
Avilan went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA last season but was limited down the stretch and into the playoffs due to a shoulder injury. He’s among the Dodgers who are eligible for salary arbitration.
The Dodgers added Oaks to their 40-man roster to protect against potentially losing him in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft. He hoped to make his MLB debut this season and potentially serve a role similar to that of Ross Stripling as a swingman.
In Alexander, the Dodgers would acquire another left-handed reliever to pair with Tony Cingrani. It would make re-signing Tony Watson less of a priority for Los Angeles. Alexander led the Majors with a 73.8 percent ground ball rate last season, while pitching to a 2.48 ERA.