In a year that was supposed to be a step back, the Dodgers still find themselves as one of the better teams across Major League Baseball. Many believed that it was time for Los Angeles to regress after losing talented players such as Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner over the offseason but the team has kept chugging along. They decided to go with a youth movement and so far, it has worked out well. But this team isn’t without faults. They have a real issue in the bullpen and a hole at shortstop that hasn’t been solved.
Injuries and inconsistent play have been issues with this team but ESPN insider Bradford Doolittle seems some light at the end of the tunnel. He foresees the team being busy at the trade deadline next month.
Even in a year of relative transition in Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers remain a pennant-seeking juggernaut with the upward trajectory of a team with a lot of young players. It’s also a team with room to improve via trade, and the Dodgers have the prospect depth to make almost any deal happen. It’s really a matter of how aggressive they want to get.Brad Doolittle, ESPN
Now the Dodgers don’t have to make any real moves. After all, they should be getting back some key pieces to the puzzle in Dustin May, Julio Urias and Daniel Hudson. However, outside of Urias, neither of the other two are locks to return to their former selves. Both are coming off bad injuries and it remains to be seen how they will perform. So the team must adjust accordingly and that likely means adding to the roster.
Some names being thrown out are Tim Anderson from the Chicago White Sox as he would be a natural fit at the shortstop position. Anderson has made the All-Star team in each of the last two seasons and would bring some energy to the club. However, he has struggled a bit to start the 2023 season. He has an OPS of .623 and has yet to hit any home runs. But this could work in the teams favor possibly as they may be able to acquire him for a lesser package due to his struggles. Anderson is on a club option for next season at $14 million so the team would have a chance to see what he brings and then decide how to go forward.
But the biggest need for the club has to be the bullpen. Once again, the White Sox could come into play. Liam Hendriks has been linked to the Dodgers for a while now and maybe this is the year that they finally acquire his services. The 34-year-old returned from battling and beating cancer recently and has looked like his former self. Hendriks would immediately help solve the Dodgers problem at the closer spot and give them more flexibility with their bullpen. My only concern with Hendriks is whether or not he is open for a change of scenery after everything he has been through. The team may let him decide how he wants to play this and he could decide to stay in Chicago for now.
As with all contenders, rotation trade candidates have to be pondered but by the end of July, and depending on the hoped-for returns of Julio Urias and Dustin May, the Dodgers will be able to sit out what might be a supercharged sector of the trade deadlineBrad Doolittle, ESPN
There are more names that the Dodgers could pursue such as reliever Scott Barlow from the Kansas City Royals, Marcus Stroman from the Chicago Cubs, Willy Adames from the Milwaukee Brewers and more. But however the Dodgers choose to play the trade deadline, it’ll show just how much they believe in the current version of the team. They have the assets and now just need to decide what direction to go.
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