As the July 31 trade deadline inches closer, the Los Angeles Dodgers front office has been busy looking for ways to improve a roster that is already perhaps the best in all of baseball.
The Dodgers made their first trade on Thursday, acquiring a right-handed bat in Tyler White from the Houston Astros in exchange for pitching prospect Andrew Scrubbs, who had been with Double-A Tulsa.
While bringing in a bat could help the team, it is no secret that the Dodgers’ biggest weakness that needs to be addressed at the deadline is their bullpen.
They have been linked to Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene, who has been among the best relievers in baseball this season, so it appears they are looking to add a top arm to place in front of Kenley Jansen in high-leverage situations.
One other team that has some arms that the Dodgers have been connected to is the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco boasts one of the top bullpens, which includes Will Smith, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Reyes Moronta, all of which could be of interest to the Dodgers.
The only problem is that the Giants are the hottest team in baseball at the moment and have gotten themselves back in the Wild Card race, so it is unclear if they will sell before the July 31 trade deadline.
If they do though, the Dodgers still have interest in some of their relievers, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) July 25, 2019
Smith would make the most sense for the Dodgers given their need to add a left-hander. He is also in the final year of his contract, so they can get him at a rental price.
In 44 games this season, Smith has pitched to a 2.44 ERA, 2.50 FIP and 0.88 WHIP with 65 strikeouts and 11 walks in 44.1 innings.
Moronta, who is right-handed, has been just as good as Smith this season, although he is still under contract until 2024 so the likelihood of him getting dealt is very slim. Dyson also still has one more season left before hitting free agency, so the same can be said for him.
Trading Watson is something the Giants will probably do even if they don’t go into full sell mode, since he is in the last year of his contract. Smith has a 2.85 ERA, 4.20 FIP and 1.10 WHIP in 41 innings this season, and the Dodgers are very familiar with him after trading for the southpaw in 2017.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi knows the Dodgers’ Minor League system as well as anyone, so it would make sense for him to give Andrew Friedman a call if he does end up trading some of his coveted relievers.