As the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaches, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain committed to upgrading their roster for another deep postseason run.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently reiterated that L.A. will be aggressive, but not reckless in trade talks with other clubs, pointing out that mortgaging the future is not in the organization’s best interest.
With only eight days remaining to make a deal before the 1 p.m. PT, the Dodgers are reportedly focused on acquiring elite, late-inning talent to pair with Kenley Jansen in the backend of the bullpen.
The club has been linked to a handful of relievers that fit the bill, including Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez, Cleveland Indians left-hander Brad Hand and San Francisco Giants southpaw Will Smith.
While adding another left-handed reliever figures to be a priority for the Dodgers, the club has expanded their search to right-handed pitchers as well.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are among a trio of teams reportedly interested in acquiring Baltimore Orioles right-hander Mychal Givens:
Orioles right-hander Mychal Givens would fit that description — he has two years of arbitration remaining after this one. The Indians, Braves and Dodgers are among the teams said to be interested in him.
Givens is in the midst of a down year, currently sporting career-highs in ERA (4.23), FIP (4.63) and home runs per nine innings (1.9). There have been some positives, however, as the 29-year-old is striking out a personal best 12.2 batters per nine while yielding only 6.8 hits per nine.
Givens has been particularly tough against right-handed batters this season, holding the same split to a .202/.290/.438 batting line in 100 plate appearances. Opposing left-handed hitters have additionally struggled against the 29-year-old, as they’re batting just .229/.316/.417 in 57 opportunities.
Another promising trend has been Givens’ success in the second half of the regular season. After a somewhat disappointing first half, he has yet to allow a run in 4.1 innings coming out of the All-Star break (three appearances).
Givens has additionally recorded 17 saves over the past two seasons and could occasionally pitch the ninth inning on days where Jansen is unavailable. Since debuting as a rookie in 2015, Givens owns a 3.26 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 1.14 WHIP and 10.6 K/9 in 298.1 innings pitched (259 games).
Givens is eligible for arbitration at the conclusion of the 2019 season and isn’t set to become a free agent for another three years. Acquiring him would give the Dodgers another controllable reliever and potential insurance in the event Jansen opts out of his contract this winter and hits the open market.