With a little over 24 hours remaining until the MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue monitoring the market for potential reinforcements to their pitching staff.
Looking to add another elite reliever to the bullpen, the Dodgers have reportedly maintained discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding closer Felipe Vazquez, and Detroit Tigers for Shane Greene.
Vazquez is believed to be L.A.’s No. 1 relief target, though the cost to land him figures to be crippling. The Pirates have aimed high in trade talks with the Dodgers, requesting a combination of top prospects Gavin Lux, Dustin May and Keibert Ruiz.
Pittsburgh’s insistence on Lux being included in a hypothetical Vazquez deal has reportedly slowed down negotiations.
In the event an agreement with the Pirates can’t be reached, there figures to be plenty of viable fallback options for the Dodgers to pursue.
In recent days, the club has expressed interest in New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz while still holding out hope that the San Francisco Giants decide to move some of their valuable left-handed relievers.
While L.A. is all but certain to address their pitching staff one way or another, manager Dave Roberts opined the organization doesn’t have to stretch themselves and complete a trade simply for the sake of doing so, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“I think that where we’re at right now, it just puts us in a position not to reach,” Roberts said, “and not do something that not only compromises this year potentially, because nothing’s guaranteed, but the years to come.”
As currently constructed, the Dodgers remain overwhelming favorites to not only win a seventh consecutive National League East division title, but also return to the World Series for a third straight year.
However, an inconsistent bullpen has been their kryptonite, like in previous postseasons — thus the urgency to improve the group before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline.
Facing a three-decade long championship drought, some executives have speculated Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman may be more willing to overpay for a reliever this time around. Such would go against the norm, as Friedman has historically shied away from the high asking prices placed on bullpen arms.
Friedman previously noted that he won’t make a reckless trade that could potentially hinder the farm system for years to come.
Roberts indicated that he would be accepting of any path the Dodgers front office chooses to take at the July 31 trade deadline and additionally voiced confidence in Friedman to make an impact move if the opportunity presents itself.