Dodgers Trade Rumors: L.A. ‘Reluctant’ To Deal Jose De Leon
Jose De Leon-logan Forsythe Trade A Win-win For Dodgers, Rays
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Having re-signed Rich Hill and reaching agreements with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, the Los Angeles Dodgers ensured the return of their top free agents. With the trio in the fold, the Dodgers’ next need that’s stepped into the spotlight is at second base.

Chase Utley, who unexpectedly emerged as the starting second baseman this season, remains a free agent. Howie Kendrick, a conceivable option to move back to the infield, was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in November.

The Dodgers reportedly have interest in re-signing Utley, but it’s doubtful the veteran would have a productive season as the starting second baseman.

Los Angeles has been linked to multiple options outside the organization, namely Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.

Acquiring a player of Dozier’s caliber would likely require the Dodgers to part with one of their top prospects in a package. One who fits the bill is Jose De Leon.

According to ESPN’s Doug Padilla, Los Angeles isn’t keen on trading the right-hander:

A package for Dozier might have to center around somebody like RHP Jose De Leon, a commodity the Dodgers are reluctant to part with.

The Twins are said to have Brock Stewart on their radar, though the 25-year-old presumably would be included with a player of De Leon’s caliber in a potential trade for Dozier.

De Leon entered the 2016 season rated the No. 5 right-handed prospect by MLB Pipeline. He missed all of April due to a sprained ankle suffered in Spring Training, then was again sidelined after just one start due to right arm soreness.

Upon returning in June, De Leon went 7-1 with a 2.77 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 81.1 innings pitched across 15 starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He ended his stay in the Minors in dominant fashion, stringing together three consecutive starts with at least seven innings pitched an 10 strikeouts.

The 24-year-old went on to make his MLB debut on Sept. 4 against the San Diego Padres. His next outing came at Yankee Stadium, and De Leon made another pair of starts to close out the regular season. He was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in the four starts.

Including time spent with Oklahoma City, De Leon tossed 103.1 innings, which fell short of the 114.1 he threw in 2015. De Leon figures to spend the 2017 season building his innings base in preparation for a larger role in the Major League rotation come 2018.

Under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers have yet to trade any of the organization’s top prospects.