For a fourth season in a row the Los Angeles Dodgers made a splash ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline, with this year’s acquisition of Manny Machado marking the biggest under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
Although Machado gives the Dodgers a premier talent at shortstop and a vaunted power bat that further strengthens their lineup, he does not solve all of the club’s questions. Even as a trade with the Baltimore Orioles appeared imminent, the Dodgers remained mindful of their pitching needs.
Their starting rotation, though in better standing at present time, has been ravaged by injuries. The bullpen has faced similar trouble over recent weeks.
With just under two weeks until the trade deadline, Zaidi made it clear the Dodgers aren’t ruling out a possible trade for a pitcher, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
Zaidi: "We continue to evaluate" adding pitchers, both starters and relievers.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 19, 2018
Somewhat surprisingly, the Dodgers did include anyone from their Major League roster in the trade or receive cash considerations or international bonus money from the Orioles. As such, Los Angeles is responsible for just north of $6 million of Machado’s $16 million salary this season.
They have demonstrated a willingness to take on salary in years past, but doing so this season is more difficult because of luxury tax implications. The front office has put an emphasis on remaining below the $197 million threshold to reset their penalties ahead of what’s expected to be a star-studded free agency class.
So while the Dodgers might still be active on the trade market, it’s unlikely that would come in the form of a marquee starting pitcher or reliever.
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