The Dodgers have one of the best records in baseball and they aren’t even clicking on all cylinders yet. LA has one of the most talented rosters in the league, but the past history of the front office suggests that if there’s a big name on the trading block that can make a difference, they’ll explore a potential deal.
Now, the Dodgers likely need to acquire another pitcher or two, but they also might want to trade for a bat that can hit left-handed pitchers. Entering play on Sunday, LA the best OPS (.776) in baseball against righties, but rank 11th versus lefties.
Although LA has one of the best offenses overall in baseball by runs scored and wRC+, nothing is ever out of the question with this aggressive front office.
Here’s five hitters the Dodgers could target before the trade deadline.
1. J.D. Martinez – DH
The 34-year-old four-time All-Star is on the last year of his five-year, $110M contract with the Red Sox. Boston has been better as of late, but before first-pitch on Sunday, they’re currently 12.5 games out of first and don’t appear to have the pieces necessary to make a deep run this October.
The four-time All-Star is a notoriously poor outfield defender and has only served as a DH this season for Boston, but most importantly, has mashed lefties. He owns a 1.095 OPS against lefties this season and has succeeded against southpaws his entire career (.956 OPS).
Bringing in Martinez would complicate things at DH for LA, especially for Justin Turner and Max Muncy, but if there’s a team that can make it work, it’s the Dodgers.
If Boston is willing to trade Martinez, instead of losing him for nothing this winter, the Dodgers should at least make a call.
2. Xander Bogaerts – SS
Boston is in a somewhat similar situation with their superstar shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts can opt out of his current contract after this season and become a free agent.
Considering the fact the two sides haven’t been able to agree on an extension, and the fact that Bogaerts is a Boras guy, the Dodgers could make a Manny Machado-like trade and rent the four-time Silver Slugger for a few months.
The Dodgers already have a star shortstop in Trea Turner, but less than 12 months ago, LA went out and traded for top-shelf shortstop even with Seager on the roster. Turner probably wouldn’t be enthused about playing out of position again at second base, but adding Bogaerts, who owns a lifetime .855 OPS against lefties, is worthy of consideration from team president Andrew Friedman and general manager Brandon Gomes.
3. Jorge Soler – DH/OF
Soler made a name for himself in the Fall Classic last year with the Braves. The slugger earned World Series MVP honors after mashing three home runs and posting a 1.191 OPS.
The Cuban outfielder signed with Miami this offseason ($36M/3yrs), but has player opt-ours after 2022 and 2023 so like Martinez and Bogaerts, could enter free agency this winter.
Soler has never been a high contact hitter, but he’s hit for power the last few years. He owns a career .828 OPS when facing left-handed pitchers.
4. Josh Bell – 1B/DH
Bell has only played first base this season and absolutely nobody is replacing Freddie Freeman, but Bell could be a nice addition to the Dodgers roster. Unlike the previous three players listed, the switch-hitting 29-year-old struggles against lefties.
The one-time All-Star might be an over-priced bench bat, but roster depth is never a bad thing.
5. Joc Pederson – DH/OF
Before anyone gets too excited, the Lakers have a better chance of winning the Finals this season and the Dodgers do of executing a trade with the Giants for the longtime Dodgers.
We just miss Joc.
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