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Dodgers: Prospects Experts Identify LA’s Most ‘Intriguing’ Trade Chip



With the trade deadline one week from today, rumors will surely start to heat up for MLB and the Dodgers. For LA, the club’s biggest need is becoming a little cloudy. For several weeks, it was looking like a starting pitcher would be the goal and that would just about close the books on another World Series run. However, in recent days we’ve seen the offense struggle mightily to score runs, and we’ve seen the closer falter at the worst possible time.

So, it’s safe to say that president of baseball ops, Andrew Friedman, has his hands full as the deadline nears.

This year, the Dodgers aren’t as flush in prospect capital as they have been in the past. Since 2017, Freidman and company have shipped off at least four top-10 prospects, and several other fringe guys. An area where the club is deepest at the moment is, of course, catching depth.

Over at MLB.com, a panel of prospects evaluators took to task identifying one prospect from each club that could draw the most interest at the upcoming deadline. For Los Angeles, they really didn’t have to try very hard. In fact, they looked right at the top of the list.

If the right blockbuster came along for the Dodgers, they could consider parting with [Keibert] Ruiz because they already have one of baseball’s best young catchers in Will Smith. Signed for $140,000 out of Venezuela in 2014, he’s a switch-hitter with premier contact skills, burgeoning power and the tools to become a solid backstop. He’s batting .294/.369/.589 with 13 homers in 46 Triple-A games and slammed a big league homer off Kyle Hendricks in May.

Trade Deadline: Should the Dodgers Trade for Craig Kimbrel With Kenley Jansen Showing Signs of Faltering?

Each and every year, teams with tradeable big league assets ask for the biggest names around Minor League Baseball. For the Dodgers, the ask from other clubs is usually higher than most. In recent years, rival GMs have asked for Corey Seager, Walker Buehler, Gavin Lux, and Julio Urias, among others.

2021 will absolutely be no different. Keibert Ruiz is a player with immense talent and upside and no clear path to playing time at the big league level. With so many needs now popping up for the Dodgers, the chances of Ruiz being traded almost feel like a foregone conclusion.

The MLB trade deadline is set for 1 pm PT on Friday, July 30th.

NEXT: Dodgers Considering a Trip to the Injured List for Mookie Betts

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. With Knebel and Nelson on the cusp to return it would appear the greatest needs are a starter and an additional outfielder/pinch hitter able to get a hit once in a while

    • One thing for sure is that besides any trades to address needs, Roberts must be told that Jansen is through as a closer. Enough is enough. And I do understand that last night’s loss was on Roberts big time along with an anemic offense struggling to put anything together to score enough runs to win any game.

  2. Bases loaded, two out, Will Smith steps up to the plate. First pitch, takes right down the middle, second pitch takes for strike two, third pitch, first swing of the at bat, slider away and off the plate, Smith flailing in the wind. Strike three. Son, if you’re reading this, be ready to hit when you step into the box. Disregard Robert’s, you are not up there to walk.
    See CT3, MMunc and JTurn.

    When are we going to bring up Ruiz????

  3. With this anemic offense lead by former MVP and now dazed out .152 hitter, our best strategy would be to trade one the very few players on the farm that can actually hit in Ruiz.?? For who?
    He can’t be worse defensively than Smith, so what’s keeping Barnes around. Smith can hit. Is he capable of playing another position? He can’t block balls in the dirt and I can steal second on him
    One last thing,,,,from day one, never been a Friedman fan. Live in Tampa and he was a dumpster diver then and still is. Almost had a stroke when he signed Mookie and then Bauer for some reason. He’s attracted to retreads and TJ survivors in particular

  4. our best use of trade chips is to go for a closer to replace Kenley at the end of this season. That would help now and later. The game 4 loss to the giants was not on Kenley…the ground ball to short should have ended the game (If Neuse would have stretched for the throw) and/or the missed
    call on the supposed check swing. Had Taylor been on the receiving end of that throw it’s game over.
    Note to Roberts: McKinstry’s best position is shortstop (according to Zmac and he ought to know). We need to quit playing politics with him vs. Lux and use him at second and short more. Neuse is not the answer. This team is afraid Zach will out-play Lux.
    We still need another starting pitcher as well but a #4 or 5 guy. Our bench is still thin but a lower priority. Someone needs to manage Bellinger and get him to make contact. His hot zone is 1/9th of the total strike zone according to Gameday.

  5. I’d trade Michael Busch, Andre Jackson and Barnes ahead of Keibert Ruiz but I doubt we’d get what we need by trading them. Good luck Andrew!
    BTW, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we just picked up a #5 starter and good pinch hitter for low level prospects and let the chips fall where they may. This year’s IL drain is absurd and we are not likely to get through the rest of the season without some other key piece getting hurt.

  6. One thing for sure the way this season is going….. the day after they trade Ruiz, Smith gets injured.

  7. Compared to the Giants and the Pads, this team just does not have the horses. The bullpen is full of castoffs from other teams and a closer that has seen better days The starting pitching, once a strength, now is questionable at best. Gonsolin (who showed his true worth in the post season last year) wouldn’t even be playing if not for the injuries and when you have to go to so many bullpen games, they have little chance with the useless arms they have. I am thankful we won last year, but we did nothing to improve the club while the Giants and Pads made up the gap and more. In addition, we have a manager who is totally lost, all this is not a good recipe for success, even discounting the injuries.

    • I can’t believe we haven’t gotten rid of Jensen . he’s cost us 3 game not 2 in less than a week he reminds me of of a pitcher who cost us a playoff win by giving up a homer to Jack Clark in 1 game loss then a homer to Ozzie Smith . we didn’t advance to the championship . remember Tom neidifer well now we have Jensen trade him and Roberts who I will never understand why he was hired with no managing experience we should have hired lope
      s, Reggie Smith or baker or bud black.

      • Agree, agree, and agree. Roberts is perhaps the worst manager in baseball. As far as I am concerned he gets no credit for the world series win last season. The Dodgers just had an overwhelming season that anyone could have managed. Had we had a decent manager we would have won in 2017 and 2018, instead of just last season. Roberts was totally out managed in both of those lost series. He is clueless in handling pitchers. Is not a 1-10 record in extra inning games in itself proof of that?

  8. I really hate to see us trade Ruiz. I truly believe if we do, we will live to regret it. From what I have seen when he was at Tulsa and OKC, he is the real deal! It’s not often you see someone with the tools this kid has. We need to do something, but let’s hang onto Keibert.

    • Ruiz just struck 3 homers last night in a game. He is a powerful catcher and I’ve seen him play. Great mechanics, a freak of nature. I believe that when his career is over he will be mentioned in the same category as Mike Piazza. Why trade for a rental when you need to sacrifice a potential HOF player. One who won’t command crazy money for another 3 or 4 years. Trade away Barnes. Roberts likes to rest his catchers anyway. Will Smith and Ruiz would be the most powerful battery mates out there.

  9. There is room for a third catcher on this team for the second half of the season. Just work Ruiz into the games against the second tier teams. That would ease our bench problem and help reduce stolen bases, although most of the steals are on the pitcher.
    Gotta have a bottom of the order pitcher and a plan to replace Kenley when he walks to F/A this winter.

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