General consensus and past history holds that Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will complete at least one trade prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Whether the move will be major or minor can be debated, but odds lie with the former.
Thus far, the Dodgers have most prominently been linked to a search for a left-handed reliever. Reported targets include Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, Detroit Tigers closer Justin Wilson and San Diego Padres reliever Brad Hand.
Los Angeles is said to be willing to include Brandon Morrow or Sergio Romo in a potential trade. The Dodgers presumably would need to tap into a replenished farm system in order to acquire any of the aforementioned relievers.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers would prefer, and perhaps are willing, to trade prospects who project just as well but are not quite as developed as Walker Buehler or Alex Verdugo:
The Dodgers would rather trade prospects with comparable ceilings who are further away from the majors, major-league sources say.
The Dodgers over recent years have made several prospects seemingly untouchable in trade talks. Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Cody Bellinger have all gone on to play an important role for the club.
Friedman has largely avoided trading blue-chip prospects but since last August has dealt the likes of Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jose De Leon. The organization still has a stash of young pitchers throughout the farm system.
Yadier Alvarez, who received a $16 million signing bonus in July 2015, would fit the description Rosenthal notes. Alvarez has struggled with his command in starts for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, while Buehler is slated to start for Triple-A Oklahoma City and may very well make his MLB debut come September.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi recently said he did not envision the club trading Verdugo prior to the non-waiver deadline and added the 21-year-old is at worst on the doorstep of being ‘big-league ready.’