For all intents and purposes, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain focused on acquiring a relief pitcher or two before the July 31 trade deadline. Though, that’s not to rule out the club potentially trading for a starter.
In light of the New York Mets electing to make Noah Syndergaard available, the Dodgers have been mentioned among the teams with interest in the right-hander. All the while, L.A. and the Pittsburgh Pirates are said to remain somewhat engaged on a potential Felipe Vazquez trade.
Though, the Pirates’ asking price — they reportedly seek a return that would be based on Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May — could serve as a roadblock to a deal. The Dodgers have been connected to multiple relievers, including Jake Diekman, who the Kansas City Royals traded to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
With the market of available relief pitchers beginning to take on more clarity, the Dodgers reportedly are open to trading for a starter, with Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman among their targets, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
#Dodgers, recognizing lack of impact relievers available, also are considering starting pitchers, including #BlueJays’ Stroman, sources tell The Athletic. Such a trade would result in LAD moving current starter to bullpen. @TheAthleticMLB
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2019
If the Dodgers were to trade for Stroman, it likely would result in Kenta Maeda being bumped into the bullpen. Maeda’s success as a reliever could alleviate some of the pressure to acquire a marquee bullpen piece before the deadline.
Of course, with Ross Stripling going on the 10-day injured list due to right biceps tendinitis, the Dodgers aren’t exactly flush in starting pitching depth. Rich Hill is not expected to return from a left flexor strain until September.
Although unconventional, it may also be the Dodgers trade for Stroman with the intention of flipping him to the Mets in exchange for Syndergaard. Even with New York looking to deal their right-hander, they have been mentioned among the possible suitors for Stroman.
Stroman is eligible for a final year of salary arbitration this winter. Meanwhile, Syndergaard has two more years or arbitration remaining before becoming a free agent after the 2021 campaign.