The Los Angeles Dodgers have seemingly had a clear focus on wanting to improve their bullpen ahead of the trade deadline, but which teams are selling and who is available hasn’t been nearly as comprehensible.
Although MLB eliminated August waiver trades seemingly in effort to generate more excitement and activity at the July 31 deadline, that hasn’t yet manifested. Several clubs either climbed back into or remained in postseason contention, which convoluted the market.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman deemed it the most peculiar trade deadline he has been part of.
Nevertheless, the Dodgers have consistently been linked to a slew of relief pitchers; majority of them being left-handed closers.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, L.A. remains engaged in trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Felipe Vazquez and the Detroit Tigers on Shane Greene:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 30, 2019
There has been conflicting information on whether the Pirates are motivated to trade Vazquez at the deadline. General manager Neal Huntington has twice publicly stated the club envisions Vazquez closing postseason games for them in the future.
However, that hasn’t quieted reports of the Dodgers and Pirates holding trade discussions. Pittsburgh has said to seek a return that is centered around some combination of Gavin Lux, Dustin May and Keibert Ruiz.
Of the three, general wisdom has the Dodgers being most willing to part with Ruiz. While trading a top prospect for a relief pitcher bucks Friedman’s history, the Dodgers are deep at catcher and Vazquez represents a bit of a unique case in that he’s under team control through 2023.
The haul for Greene presumably wouldn’t be quite as substantive. The right-hander is in the midst of a first career All-Star campaign but is due to become a free agent after next season.
The Dodgers reportedly have scouted Greene of late and have him high on their list among right-handed relief pitchers. Another L.A. is believed to have interest in is New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz.
Though, like with Vazquez, his availability is unclear and what it would require to complete a trade may not line up with the Dodgers’ desires.