The Los Angeles Dodgers seem determined to add some infield help before the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. They have been heavily linked to Orioles superstar Manny Machado so far. One report even named the Dodgers as one of Machado’s most ‘serious suitors’.
The Dodgers lead the National League in home runs but have struggled to get production from their infield at times, which was thought to be one of the best in baseball before this season. However, the Dodgers lost Corey Seager for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Justin Turner has not been the same since breaking his wrist during Spring Training, although he has swung the bat much better as of late.
Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor, Seager’s replacement at shortstop, both have taken a step back after breakout 2017 seasons. Logan Forsythe, meanwhile, is in a horrific slump.
Max Muncy’s shocking production has been huge, but the 2018 All-Star hopeful cannot carry the Dodgers’ lineup by himself. The Dodgers will need more offense with Yasiel Puig on the disabled list and Matt Kemp cooling off after a torrid start to the season.
Thus, it makes sense why the Dodgers would pursue another bat at the trade deadline. They are doing just that–and looking beyond Machado, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Sources: Dodgers have stepped up pursuit of a position player and are looking beyond Manny Machado. Have had conversations with Reds about Scooter Gennett, Twins about Brian Dozier and Mets about Asdrubal Cabrera. Dodgers’ versatility allows them to pursue a number of positions.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 10, 2018
Scooter Gennett is the most interesting name on the list. The Cincinnati Reds second baseman just made his first All-Star Game after hitting .322 with an .875 on-base plus slugging percentage so far. He also has some power, with 27 home runs last season and 14 homers already in 2018.
Gennett is also under team control through 2019, so he would not be a half-season rental like Machado.
The Dodgers reportedly pursued Brian Dozier in trade talks with the Minnesota Twins when looking for a second baseman before the 2017 season. They ended up trading for Forsythe instead. Dozier has struggled in 2018, only hitting .233 with a .711 OPS. He will be a free agent after the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera is also in the final year of his contract with the New York Mets. The veteran has been a consistent hitter during his time in Queens, and currently boasts a respectable .282 batting average with an .818 OPS.
Cabrera has only played second base this year but can also man shortstop and third base if needed. As Passan mentioned, the ability of players like Taylor, Muncy and Bellinger to play several positions means the Dodgers can adapt to whoever they acquire.
The Dodgers have focused on pitching at the deadline under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. However, the consensus among baseball insiders points to that approach changing this time around.
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