A Trade the LA Dodgers Should Consider: Lefty Reliever Aaron Bummer

With the trade deadline now three weeks away, the Dodgers’ front office will spend most of their time looking to upgrade the best team in baseball. Their biggest and arguably only real need is a left-handed reliever but the options might be limited.

The top names like Sean Doolittle, Brad Hand and Felipe Vazquez might be unavailable as their teams are still in the hunt. The lower-tier guys like Tony Watson and Jake Diekman have struggled or have some serious concerns.  And the player most likely to be traded, Will Smith of the Giants, could end up being one of the most costly players available, even as a rental since multiple contenders need a closer.

That’s where Aaron Bummer of the White Sox comes in, and he’s almost certainly on the Dodgers’ radar. They were interested in him during the off-season after he showed signs of a breakout during 2018, pitching to a 2.40 FIP over 31 2/3 innings.

This year, the 25-year-old is having a strong season, posting a 1.89 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 9.18 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, and 0.6 WAR in 33 1/3 innings. With his high-velocity sinker, Bummer has held opponents to 0.54 HR/9 and a 65 percent ground ball rate. He has also been very effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .214/.267/.262 line, which is something the Dodgers’ bullpen badly needs.

His batted ball profile backs up his season as he is in the 70th percentile of strikeout percentage, 80th percentile of average exit velocity allowed, 89th percentile of hard-hit percentage and 93rd percentile of expected wOBA. To put that in simple terms, he’s getting a good amount of strikeouts and not allowing hitters to hit the ball well.

Bummer would also provide some versatility to the Dodgers’ bullpen since he could work as a left-handed specialist, groundball specialist, or a late-inning arm depending on what they need that game.

He Could Come at a High Cost

The biggest hurdle to acquire Bummer is he still has four years of team control after this season. But for a rebuilder like the White Sox, dealing relievers in breakout years is usually the smartest thing to do since they are so volatile. The Dodgers might also be more inclined to pay the cost for his team control since they’ve been looking for a good left-handed reliever for what feels like forever.

The best-case scenario is still a trade for Vazquez or Hand, with Smith and Doolittle being close seconds. But if the Dodgers aren’t able to make one of those deals work, it wouldn’t be a bummer if they ended up with Bummer.

Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Blake, correct on one thing, the cost. And Even Bummer would cost Dodgers more than he would cost any other team. I am not sure I want to see Lux, may or Will Smith traded for a rental that to be honest will guarantee absolutely nothing if the rest of the staff continues to serve up dingers and the offense duplicates last year’s boom or bust rate.

    1. I agree completely. These trades are usually totally useless and the Dodgers get ripped off of great talent. Lux and Smith have already shown such high promise it would be a shame to see AF trade them away for this.

  2. Hardly a rental, with 4 years of team control. But, it would depend on the cost. One thing the Dodgers have been reluctant to do is, give up top prospects, even if it means giving up more prospects.

  3. All of the sudden he would suck if he came here. It would be like Alexander coming here from a bad Royals team in a small market where he excelled and is now a scared mess.

  4. Do not give up top prospects. You need one more arm but not at giving up the farm. One of the players like Garlick who was jot sent down. Keep Beaty. One farm hand prospect and one major leaguer. Freese has one year left at most. Beaty could be your man.

    1. Again I agree. Don’t waste this young talent on a relief pitcher. No way I would give up an everyday player for a guy who throws 1 inning or less a game

  5. Not giving up top prospects = NO RINGS. We have our established base now for next 4 to 5 years. Time to start giving up top talent like Red Sox (Sale), Astros (Verlander) and Cubs (Chapman) all did and they were all rewarded with RINGS.

    1. The Dodgers have tried this the last few years for nothing. How do you think you build a perennial powerhouse? Not by trading prospects every year. Guys who should not be on the trade block: Lux, May, Smith, Peters, White. If Dave Roberts can’t manage a Ring for a third time, wouldn’t you say it is HE who should be traded?

    1. I would be very cautious before I deal Joc Pederson. Team Chemistry is something that you cannot tinker with – either we have it or we do not. And We Have It!!!!! Also, consider Joc’s home run hitting ability!!!! Personally, Joc remains a Dodger if I am the GM. Go Blue!!!!

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