The MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and this one is sure to be interesting.
There are tons of buyers, as teams look to make a late push up the standings and into the expanded postseason. However, there aren’t very many sellers.
The two teams most obviously set to be sellers — the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals — don’t have much to offer, and after that, it’s hard to know which teams will look to sell.
Fortunately, over at The Athletic, MLB insider Jim Bowden looked at the market, and picked the top pitching candidates with a chance at being moved. So, we figured we should see which of those guys the Dodgers should be all in on targeting to shore up both the rotation and the bullpen.
Which Starting Pitchers Could the Dodgers Target?
The first starting pitcher he put was Shohei Ohtani, but I don’t expect him to be traded, so let’s leave him off this list for now.
Lucas Giolito, White Sox
Giolito is 100 percent someone the Dodgers should have their eyes on. Bowden said Giolito is “the most likely starting pitcher to be traded,” and since he’s an impending free agent, it would make sense for Chicago to move him.
Giolito was an All-Star in 2019, and has been an above-average pitcher since. This year, he’s sporting a 3.54 ERA in 14 starts, and has been much better as of late, allowing just one run in 13 innings across his two starts in June.
The Dodgers starting rotation needs help, and Giolito — who’s proven to be very durable the last few years — could be a solution.
Dylan Cease, White Sox
Let’s stick with the White Sox and go to the 2022 AL Cy Young Award runner-up. Cease, someone Bowden says the White Sox have “no reason to deal,” could still wind up on the market if Chicago receives an offer they can’t refuse.
The Dodgers have the farm system to make one of those offers, and they would love to have Cease in their rotation for the next few years.
Cease, coming off by far the best year of his career, has struggled this season to the tune of a 4.38 ERA in 14 starts. However, the strikeout numbers are still there, and he has had some dominant starts this year, including allowing just two runs in 11.1 innings in June.
Cease would definitely cost more than Giolito, but if the Dodgers are thinking about the present and the future, Cease could be an option.
Jack Flaherty, Cardinals
The last starting pitcher I think the Dodgers could go after on Bowden’s list is the LA native, Jack Flaherty.
The Harvard-Westlake High School product has struggled this year, sporting a 4.15 ERA in 13 starts. However, we all know what he can do when he’s on, and he’s someone the Dodgers could definitely take a chance on to shore up the rotation before the postseason.
Flaherty is a free agent at the end of this year, so the Cardinals could decide to get something out of him as opposed to potentially losing him for nothing at the end of the year. If the Dodgers want a couple months of a solid rotation piece to help stop some of the bleeding, Flaherty could be a great option.
Which Relievers Could the Dodgers Target?
Now onto the bullpen, where Bowden listed 12 options. Of the many potential trade candidates he listed, there are a few who stand out as potential options for the Dodgers.
Alex Lange, RHP and Jason Foley, RHP, Tigers
If the Tigers look to sell some of their strong bullpen standouts, either of these right-handed pitchers could give the Dodgers a huge boost in the pen.
Scott Barlow, RHP and Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Royals
The two Royals likely to be moved this deadline could both help the Dodgers struggling pen, especially Chapman. However, Chapman is likely to be the most sought after reliever on this year’s market, so his price is sure to be very, very high.
Zach Jackson, RHP, A’s
He’s currently on the injured list, but he’s had a very solid year in Oakland. He may be one of their few guys dealt this deadline as he can offer value to a contender.
Knowing the Dodgers, they’re going to target someone none of us see coming. Last year, the Dodgers got RHP Chris Martin from the Red Sox, and turned him into one of baseball’s most dominant second-half relievers. So expect the Dodgers to make another similar move in the bullpen this year, as they look to shore it up before the postseason.
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