In a recent interview Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club was scouting players whom they expected to be available at the trade deadline.
Friedman added the Dodgers’ focus is on ‘elite-level players,’ though clarified a complete landscape of who will be on the trading block won’t become more clear until the next few weeks. Given their deep pockets, talent in the farm system, and World Series aspirations, the Dodgers are largely expected to be aggressive on the trade market.
On the surface, their top need appears to be starting pitching. There’s some comfort in knowing Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu should all return at some point this season, but how effective they’ll be is a question mark.
After a few rough weeks earlier in the season, the Dodgers’ bullpen has stabilized and not been the weak point many pegged it to be. The offense may also be turning a corner, in part led by Justin Turner’s resurgence.
Nonetheless, ESPN’s Jim Bowden said during Monday’s telecast he’s been informed those are the three areas the Dodgers are looking to address at the trade deadline, with Atlanta Braves righty Julio Teheran and Oakland Athletics starter Sonny Gray a focal point:
“The Dodgers have told me there’s three areas they’re targeting: they want a starter, a reliever and a bat. No. 1 on their list is they want a young starter in his mid-20s. They want a long term, not a short fix. There’s two guys who are on their list: Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves and Sonny Gray of the Oakland A’s. What they love about [Teheran] is he is signed through 2019 at approximately $26 million. The big question there is [Gray] healthy and is he going to perform? Remember, Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi has a close relationship with Billy Beane and Sonny Gray. Not sure if they’ll be able to pull off a deal, because it will take a big haul. But those are the two names the Dodgers are looking at.”
Bowden added the club unsurprisingly doesn’t have interest in trading Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager or Julio Urias:
“The Dodgers have made it clear that Urias, Seager and Kershaw are going absolutely nowhere. So to make a deal like this, they’d have to center it around Jose De Leon, Frankie Montas, and I think theyw ould move Yasiel Puig at this point. It’s going to take a pretty big package to get a Teheran or a Gray.”
The Dodgers were linked to Gray and Teheran prior to the 2015 trade deadline, though neither of the right-handers was ultimately moved. Gray is 3-6 this season, with a 5.54 ERA, 4.94 FIP and 1.50 WHIP.
While those numbers are higher than Gray’s marks in previous seasons, his 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings is on par with the last two years. However, Gray’s 17.9 percent strikeout rate is down from last season’s 20.3 percent.
He was placed on the disabled list in late May because of a strained trapezius muscle near his right shoulder blade. Teheran is 3-7 with a 2.66 ERA, 3.82 FIP and 0.91 WHIP, with his ERA and WHIP on track for career-best marks.