With the MLB trade deadline just over 24 hours away (1 p.m. PT on Monday), there has been an increase in speculation, which for the Los Angeles Dodgers has primarily amounted to starting pitchers.
To begin the week, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman indicated the club was largely on the periphery as he characterized the majority of talks throughout the league being preliminary.
Since then, however, the Dodgers have been linked to Texas Rangers starter Lance Lynn and the Cleveland Indians’ Mike Clevinger. There are several clubs interested in both hurlers, and Lynn is widely considered a lock to be moved before the trade deadline.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, there’s a similar sentiment with Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader:
There’s a growing sentiment among executives that #Brewers All Star closer Josh Hader could be traded. The pricetag is high, but it should be, with Hader likely the greatest difference-maker on the trade market.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 30, 2020
As is often the case when premier talent is available, the Dodgers are said to be among the teams that discussed a Hader trade with the Brewers, per MLB insider Jon Heyman:
Dodgers are among teams that have checked in on Josh Hader. Not many available players would improve the excellent Dodgers, but he’d give them arguably baseball’s best bullpen.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 30, 2020
It’s unclear how serious the Dodgers may have gotten in discussions for any of Clevinger, Hader or Lynn. All three are under team control beyond 2020, with Clevinger and Hader having multiple years remaining before reaching free agency.
The Brewers are still in position to reach the postseason despite having lost six of their last 10 games entering Sunday.
For the Dodgers, their bullpen has undeniably been a bright spot this season. Though, they also are without Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly, both of whom manager Dave Roberts has indicated are not near a return.
Dodgers trade would have to be for impact
With the best record in baseball and one of the more talented active rosters and player pools, the Dodgers don’t have a pressing need at the trade deadline. Coupled with the fact there would only be one month remaining in the regular season, a deal would have to be impactful.
“That’s a good position to be in, where you don’t feel there’s a need. Some guys are really starting to trend up, some guys have been performing all year, and the depth is there,” Roberts said.
“We’ve done a good job with the training staff, strength and conditioning, of keeping guys healthy. Guys are adhering to the rules and protocols of the pandemic. Now you talk about getting a player, it’s certainly got to be somebody that moves the needle for our club.”
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