As the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaches, the Los Angeles Dodgers are certain to be in the market for at least one starting pitcher to help deal with season-ending injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
With the addition of the second wild card, the asking price on most pitchers figures to be high because of the limited amount of true “sellers”. Other factors such as a player’s salary and years of control will also have a major role on whether teams are comfortable enough to give up a top prospect(s) in a deal.
Without further ado, let’s look at the potential available starting pitchers that the Dodgers could target in a trade later this summer.
Boston Red Sox (42-47, last place in American League East)-
Clay Buchholz: Buchholz, who could become a free agent in the offseason if his team option for $13 million is declined, has pitched to a 3.26 ERA in 113.1 innings thus far. Looking further at some peripherals, his FIP of 2.61 and xFIP of 3.17 indicate he’s been even better than his earned run average shows.
Update: During his start on July 10, Buchholz was removed prematurely with a right flexor strain in his elbow that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.
Predicted cost: Before his injury, Buchholz had statistically been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season; and having team-friendly options in his contract for 2016 and 2017, it’s wouldn’t have been far-fetched if the Red Sox asked an organization for a top-ten prospect along with some mid-tier level prospects. But obviously being sidelined with elbow trouble will hinder their opportunity to trade him by July 31.
Chicago White Sox (41-45, last place in American League Central) –
Jeff Samardzija: It feels like Samardzija is always in trade rumors around this time of year, and with the White Sox struggling to put together a winning streak, he is one of the most likely pitchers to be moved again.
In 125.1 innings pitched, Samardzija has pitched to a mediocre 4.02 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, but his respectable FIP of 3.41 offers optimism to teams looking to acquire him.
Predicted cost: Samardzija will become a free agent at the end of the season, making him a rental to whatever team trades for him. It makes no sense for the White Sox to keep him, so they are likely seeking at least one prospect from an organization’s top-10 to top-15 range.
Detroit Tigers (44-44, third place in American League Central) –
David Price: On the day of last season’s trade deadline, the Tigers shocked the baseball world by acquiring Price in a blockbuster trade orchestrated by Andrew Friedman’s Rays. And there’s no secret that he’d like to reacquire him just one year later.
Turning 30 in August, Price is putting together another elite season. In 125 innings pitched, he owns a 2.38 ERA and 2.84 FIP while already accumulating 3.0 Wins Above Replacement.
Whether the Tigers will seriously consider dealing him is another question, though. They currently possess a 44-44 record but are nine games behind the first place Kansas City Royals. If they continue falling out of the race over these next three weeks, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski might entertain the idea of taking offers for his ace.
Price is a free agent in the offseason and is widely speculated to sign with the Dodgers because of his connection with Friedman and the uncertainty of Zack Greinke’s future in Los Angeles.
Predicted cost: With that being said, is dealing a top-5 prospect really worth it for a potential rental, or would it be wise to just wait and sign him to a mega contract in the offseason and target a less-costly pitcher in the meantime?
CONTINUE READING: Who Else Can The Dodgers Pursue?