With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline less than 24 hours away, the Los Angeles Dodgers will continue exploring all avenues in upgrading its roster for the stretch run.
The club already made the biggest splash of the month by acquiring All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles, in exchange for a package of five prospects headlined by outfielder Yusniel Diaz.
While the Dodgers have shown a recent willingness in trading top prospects, they have also held on tight to a select number of players, with some off limits altogether in discussions with other teams.
That especially held true in trade talks with the Orioles for Machado, as Los Angeles reportedly refused to entertain offers for shortstop Gavin Lux and right-hander Dustin May.
According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers also view prospects Alex Verdugo and Keibert Ruiz in high regard:
The organization views Verdugo, along with catcher Keibert Ruiz, as one of its most prized prospects. They have been wary of including him in trade proposals, but they have also been reticent about using him for extended stretches in the major leagues.
It isn’t surprising that the Dodgers are placing a high value on Verdugo, considering the leap he’s made this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 67 games with the club’s top Minor League affiliate, he is batting .349/.396/.506 with 25 extra-base hits in 283 plate appearances.
Verdugo has also enjoyed two different stints at the Major League level this season, compiling a slash line of .280/.345/.440 with five doubles and one home run over 56 trips to the plate.
The 22-year-old was one of four Dodgers prospects recently ranked among MLB Pipeline’s top-100 midseason update, placing No. 29 on the list.
Verdugo ultimately believes he will remain with the organization past Tuesday’s trade deadline, though he isn’t keeping up with the rumors and speculation that surround the league this time around.
Meanwhile, Ruiz is a standout at a position the Dodgers are flush with prospects. He’s enduring some growing pains with a first taste of Double-A ball, batting .238/.309/.374 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 28 RBI. The Dodgers signed Ruiz out of Venezuela when he was just 16 years of age.
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