The Dodgers are forever candidates to swing a big trade, especially with such a surplus of youth in the organization. One prospect the team is hesitant to move is pitcher Jose De Leon.
Doug Padilla of ESPN reported Tuesday Los Angeles is still in the Brian Dozier race, but the franchise is unsure of moving De Leon in exchange.
“The Dodgers have not closed the door on the possibility of acquiring 2B Brian Dozier from the Twins, a source indicated, even after the club agreed to free-agent deals with 3B Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen. A package for Dozier might have to center around somebody like RHP Jose De Leon, a commodity the Dodgers are reluctant to part with. The return of 2B Chase Utley also is not out of the question.”
De Leon is often overshadowed by phenom Julio Urias, but the 24-year-old is a highly regarded pitcher in his own right. He only started four games for the Dodgers in 2016, but is expected to compete for a spot in the 2017 rotation.
If L.A. won’t trade De Leon, it certainly isn’t because of depth. The Dodgers have a plethora of backend rotation pitchers to choose from, and Yadier Alvarez, though further from the Majors, may have more upside than De Leon.
With Andrew Friedman’s conservative history on prospects, the reluctance to move De Leon is expected. Friedman also went on record that the team he has is a serious World Series contender. We’ll see if he thinks Dozier is the piece to put them over the top, and if so, De Leon might be sacrificed.