For about a month, I’ve been writing about potential trades to improve the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With only five days left until the trade deadline, Ned Colletti and the Dodgers still haven’t made any trades.
In Colletti’s time with the Dodgers, he has pulled off some stunners before the deadline. The biggest one was a last minute deal that brought Manny Ramirez from Boston to LA.
Most of the big trades the Dodgers have pulled off during Colletti’s tenure have been pulled off quietly. Nobody was talking about Manny to LA. Or Hanley Ramirez to LA. Or even the Nick Punto trade. Colletti has done a good job in the past of not showing his hand until the very last minute.
This year, the Dodgers have been subject of many trade rumors. If Colletti is smart, the Dodgers’ roster will look slightly different in about a week.
For starters, the Dodgers have a huge problem in the outfield. They have too many outfielders that are overpaid and underperforming, and the best option in center field might be a 22-year-old kid in AAA, but to expect Joc Pederson to do what Yasiel Puig did last year is unrealistic
The Dodgers statistically have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are arguably the best top three of any rotation in the league. As a number four starter this year, Josh Beckett has been pitching out of his mind. However, Beckett struggled in his first start after the All-Star break, fresh off a DL stint for a torn labrum in his hip. Beckett had been overperforming all season, and this injury isn’t going to help him sustain his incredible first half.
The Dodgers fifth starter, Dan Haren, is a very interesting case. The Pepperdine product has been horrible of late and has failed to get past the sixth inning in six of his last seven starts. Haren is owed $10 million this season, and has an option for next season that kicks in if Haren pitches more than 180 innings this year. Haren is already at 122 innings pitched, so unless the Dodgers want to pay him another $10 million next year, the Dodgers need to acquire a back-end starter in the coming week, or throw Paul Maholm into the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Dodgers also have a huge problem in their bullpen. Kenley Jansen has been good this season, and J.P. Howell has been even better. After them, the rest of the pen has been a huge disappointment. Chris Perez and Maholm should be mop-up guys at this point. Brian Wilson had a great June, but has been awful for most of the season. Brandon League has been surprisingly great, but has mostly been used in low-pressure situations. Paco Rodriguez is waiting in the minors, and Scott Elbert is working his way back from an injury, but the Dodgers could definitely use another bullpen arm or two.
The Dodgers have seemed unwilling to trade any of their big name prospects. Don’t expect Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias to be a part of a blockbuster trade in the next week. I don’t think the Dodgers will make any drastic moves in the next week, but I do think they will make a couple smaller, yet still impactful trades to shore up the back end of their rotation and strengthen their bullpen.