Although the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly are focused on free agents as opposed to potential trades, they’ve been linked to the latter with plenty of frequency this offseason. Entering Monday, Los Angeles had already parted with Carlos Ruiz and Howie Kendrick in separate trades.
With a need at second base, the Dodgers have also been tied to Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, among others. In addition, the Dodgers may lose Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner to free agency.
The club has long been said to have interest in re-singing Jansen, though some within the organization reportedly view Aroldis Chapman as the superior long-term option.
Both Chapman and Jansen will command such a contract that the Dodgers may ultimately decide against signing either. That presumably would lead to a search on the trade market, given the weak crop of free-agent closers.
And the Kansnas City Royals may prove to be a trade partner. According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers expressed interest in center fielder Lorenzo Cain and closer Wade Davis:
The Dodgers have shown interest in Royals closer Wade Davis and outfielder Lorenzo Cain, sources say. Unclear if KC ready to sell.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) December 5, 2016
Los Angeles and Kansas City reportedly discussed a potential trade involving Davis prior to the non-waiver deadline. However, the Royals’ insistence that the Dodgers, or another club interested in the right-handed closer also take Ian Kennedy, prevented a deal from coming to fruition.
Davis twice spent time on the disabled list in 2016 due to a right forearm strain. The 31-year-old recorded 27 saves this season with a 1.87 ERA, 2.29 FIP and 1.31 WHIP, and earned All-Star honors a second time in his career.
However, Davis’ 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio are both the lowest marks since 2013, and his 3.3 walks per nine innings are the most since that same year. Davis is owed $10 million in the final season of his contract.
Cain was also affected by injury — a balky hamstring — and appeared in just 103 games after an All-Star season in 2015. He saw regression at the plate, batting .287/.339/.408 with 19 doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBI and a 98 OPS+.
Per UZR, Cain improved defensively in right field this season, but took a step back in center. The 30-year-old is set to earn $11.5 million next season in what is also the final year of his deal.