Two of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ three trades prior to Monday’s non-waiver deadline involved players or an organization that general manager Farhan Zaidi had previous ties to.
The most obvious was Los Angeles acquiring Rich Hill and Josh Reddick in a five-player trade with the Oakland Athletics. Zaidi worked in the Athletics’ front office as assistant general manger before joining the Dodgers in November 2014.
Los Angeles also acquired Jesse Chavez from the Toronto Blue Jays, though the right-hander spent 2013 and 2014 with the Athletics. The Dodgers’ most significant trade of the day was their deal that sent Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas to Oakland.
The trio of pitching prospects aren’t viewed in the same regard as Jose De Leon and Julio Urias, but the trade nonetheless was the first time the Dodgers parted with a batch of their notable prospects under Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Zaidi explained why the club was comfortable in dealing from their stash of Minor League pitchers, via Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
“I guess our broader philosophy was, this is a team that actually from a minor-league standpoint has a lot of pitching depth, particularly starting pitching in the pipeline coming up through Double-A and Triple-A. So the ability to meet our trading needs from our pitching depth, rather than going to our position-player side, was our preference. … We like the guys that we gave up. There was a competitive market for these two players that we got from Oakland. We knew we were going to have to give up pitchers we like.
The bar was set extremely high this year to acquire the likes of Chris Archer or Chris Sale in a thin pitching market. Both are under team control for multiple seasons, which presumably played a hand in the Dodgers reportedly being willing to include Urias in a trade for Sale, if the ace was made available.
Tampa Bay traded Matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Matt Duffy, the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year runner-up, and prospects Lucius Fox and Michael Santos. While acquiring a quality starter, the Dodgers retained De Leon, Cody Bellinger, Urias, Alex Verdugo, and others.