Los Angeles Dodgers trade deadline targets have reportedly involved starting pitchers and primarily centered around Juan Soto, but the team’s first two moves involved their bullpen.
Over the weekend, the Dodgers acquired Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Zach McKinstry. On Monday, the Dodgers cleared a spot on their 40-man roster by trading Garrett Cleavinger to the Tampa Bay Rays for Minor League outfielder German Tapia.
As for potential position players the Dodgers could add, their options extend beyond Soto. They don’t need to add a hitter, but could improve against left-handed pitching and add depth with Max Muncy still struggling and Justin Turner dealing with an injury.
The list of available bats that fill that need is more limited than the pitchers, but there are still some quality options.
Dodgers trade deadline targets
Juan Soto, Nationals
Everything that there is to be said about Soto has essentially already been said, but he should be the Dodgers’ top target and they should do nearly whatever it takes to get him because players of his caliber are never available.
Do the Dodgers need Soto? No, but this is an opportunity too good to pass up.
They are reportedly among the teams involved in the talks and the cost is anywhere between four to six top, young assets that will be a historic return. But the Dodgers should not be scared of losing a potential superstar to add at least three postseasons of a 23-year-old who is on track for the Hall of Fame.
Brandon Drury, Reds
Brandon Drury is a player the Dodgers have reportedly checked in on and he’s having a very strong season.
He could fill in at second base, third base and the corner outfield, he’s a free agent after the season and hits left-handed pitching well. That combination makes him an ideal fit for the Dodgers, but Drury would have been a more attractive option in a trade involving Castillo as well.
Ian Happ, Cubs
Ian Happ is in the midst of a breakout season and with an extra year of control, this may be the best time for the Cubs to trade him. Happ can play all three outfield spots and he rakes against left-handed pitching.
That would allow the Dodgers to primarily start him in left field against right-handers and then move him to center field against a left-hander.
Happ would also provide their lineup with some more balance as a switch-hitter and give them extra financial flexibility next season with a replacement if they choose to non-tender Cody Bellinger.
Whit Merrifield, Royals
Whit Merrifield has been a perennial trade target for contenders, but the Royals have still yet to move him. Merrifield is now having the worst season of his career as a 33-year-old, but the Dodgers did reportedly show some interest in him. He’s not the type of player they’d normally target, but Merrifield does have some versatility to play second base or the outfield.
Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, Red Sox
The Red Sox are still in playoff contention, but they have not been playing well and could decide to sell if things continue to go south. Although Xander Bogaerts has an opt-out after the season, the Red Sox have said they will not trade him.
However, that could always change with the right package, even if it is unlikely. The Dodgers would have to get creative to play him, but the designated hitter helps with that and he would provide the second biggest offensive upgrade on this list.
J.D. Martinez is more likely to be traded and he would also provide a strong upgrade to the lineup with the ability to crush left-handed pitching, but he is a DH only, which may limit their interest.
Martinez is a free agent this winter, but the Red Sox reportedly are seeking a strong return.
Other bench and platoon options
Charlie Culberson (Rangers), Garret Cooper (Marlins), Nelson Cruz (Nationals), Jorge Soler (Marlins), Josh Harrison (White Sox), Robbie Grossman (Tigers), Tommy Pham (Reds), J.D. Davis (New York Mets), Wilmer Flores (Giants), Randal Girchuk and C.J. Cron (Rockies).
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