While the Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to several left-handed relievers, team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is hardly the type to pigeonhole himself. Friedman has regularly stressed exploring all avenues to upgrade the roster.
Even as the Dodgers are regularly linked to the likes of Zach Britton, Brad Hand and Justin Wilson, they were also said to be pursuing a potential trade for New York Mets right-handed relief pitcher Addison Reed. Although not a reliever, the Dodgers reportedly scouted Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander over the past week.
The organization is also among those to have scouted another righty in Philadelphia Phillies reliever Pat Neshek, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 23, 2017
On Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reiterated the Dodgers, among others, are keeping a close eye on Neshek:
Market for Pat Neshek getting competitive. Nationals, Dodgers and Red Sox among teams scouting him closely, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 24, 2017
This comes on the heels of the Dodgers trading Sergio Romo to the Tampa Bay Rays two days after he was designated for assignment. Thus, at minimum, Los Angeles has an opening for another right-handed pitcher in their bullpen.
Like Romo, the 36-year-old leans heavily on the use of his slider. Neshek has fared much better this season in comparison to Romo, going 3-2 with one save, a 1.14 ERA, 2.01 FIP and 0.84 WHIP in 42 games, earning a first All-Star selection.
Neshek has similar splits, with right-handed batters hitting .212/.230/.259, and lefties batting .182/.228/.321. The veteran is inducing ground balls at a career rate of 36.3 percent, while Neshek’s 4.8 percent fly-ball-to-home-run ratio would also be a career-best mark. He’s eligible to reach free agency this winter.