The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a familiar position less than 12 hours before the MLB trade deadline. They not only are atop the National League West standings, but also have the best record in baseball and are being linked to the best player available.
The Washington Nationals were open to a Juan Soto trade, and the Dodgers were believed to be among the frontrunners for a deal before the San Diego Padres reached an agreement Tuesday morning. The Dodgers front office had reportedly gained confidence in a potential Soto trade over recent days.
In addition to the two-time All-Star, the Dodgers reportedly have interest in Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ, Miami Marlins pitchers Pablo López and Anthony Bass, and Kansas City Royals utilityman Whit Merrifield, among others.
The speculation can be tantalizing — particularly for a player of Soto’s caliber — but Clayton Kershaw isn’t one to get wrapped up in Dodgers trade rumors, via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:
“I don’t believe anything,” he told The Athletic this week. “I don’t believe 95 percent of things that are out there, the rumors. Because it’s all a ploy. Everything’s a game. If the Dodgers are in it, it makes that person more enticing. So, the Dodgers are in on everybody, according to the media, so I don’t really read into any of that.”
Kershaw added he doesn’t believe the Dodgers roster has glaring weaknesses that must be addressed at the trade deadline:
“It’s not one of those things where like, you get your hopes up,” Kershaw said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of great players that potentially could be moved at the deadline. But … I don’t think there’s anything that, any glaring hole that we really need right now, so that’s a good spot to be.”
Since Kershaw’s comments, the Dodgers addressed their bullpen and added a left-handed bat to the roster. Chris Martin was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Zach McKinstry, and the Dodgers traded Garrett Cleavinger to the Tampa Bay Rays for Minor League outfielder German Tapia.
Cleavinger was behind a slew of other relief pitchers on the depth chart and the trade cleared a spot on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, which could be useful for deadline day or players returning from the 60-day injured list.
Then hours before the trade deadline, Clayton Beeter was traded to the New York Yankees for Joey Gallo.
Roberts: Dodgers don’t have ‘need’ at trade deadline
Just as Kershaw expressed, manager Dave Roberts recently said he didn’t believe the Dodgers have a “need” at the trade deadline this season. Roberts did acknowledge that would not preclude president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman from exploring potential deals.
Are you following Dodger Blue on Instagram? It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!