Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade on Wednesday and to many fans surprise, it wasn’t for a relief pitcher.

Second baseman Chase Utley was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for two minor-leaguers, and he will take over at second base while Howie Kendrick is out. Meanwhile, the Dodgers bullpen ranks 22nd in ERA in the Majors, and is coming off a series in which they spoiled a Clayton Kershaw gem and allowed two runs to push a small deficit into a bigger one. Other than Kenley Jansen, the relievers have been inconsistent and have failed to do their job.

It appeared Jim Johnson had gotten over his early struggles with the Dodgers, but then he loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth on Wednesday. Pedro Baez blew the game on Tuesday night and Yimi Garcia allowed the walk-off hit later in that same game. J.P. Howell has struggled recently and Luis Avilan has yet to solidify his spot. Chris Hatcher has been perfect since returning from injury and the Dodgers need him to continue that.

Since the non-waiver trade deadline passed, deals are harder to come by this time of year, especially for bullpen help. According to Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, the Chase Utley trade hasn’t done anything to deter future deals:

What exactly could be done to help the bullpen is limited though:

Of those relievers mentioned, the only one with an ERA under 4.00 is the one that the Dodgers already had in their organization a few months ago, David Aardsma. It’s possible that a few more relievers could clear waivers in the next 10 days, but it likely won’t be anyone of any significant value.

If the Dodgers have a chance to upgrade in the bullpen, their best bet may be internally rather than via trade.

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About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

2 Responses

  1. DodgerBlueThru&Thru

    Instead of “could trade”, the title should read, “will trade for”!

    Reply
  2. DodgerBlueThru&Thru

    I’m watching “Suits” right now and just realized Zaidi looks like a thinner Louis Litt!

    Reply

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