With the July 31 trade deadline looming, many borderline teams are determining whether they are buyers or sellers. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who currently lead the NL West, are observing all their options in order to make the right move for the ballclub.
The team is in desperate need of starting pitching, especially after the recent injury to Brett Anderson and bullpen pitching, as their bullpen has been one of the worst since the middle of May.
The Dodgers, led by Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi, are aggressive buyers that are linked to many names on the market. One of those names was Jonathan Papelbon, the closer of the Philadelphia Phillies, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com rebutted the statement:
Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who has expressed his desire to be traded multiple times this season, is no longer being actively pursued by the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, sources told ESPN on Wednesday,” Stark stated. “Three weeks ago, those three teams looked most likely to trade for Papelbon, but now it’s a strong possibility the Phillies won’t be able to trade him at all before the July 31 trading deadline.”
The team was linked back to pursuing Papelbon since the 2014 season, but things never officially panned out. The potential acquisition of the 34-year-old would be an attempt to tighten up their core of relief pitchers towards the postseason.
During the 2015 campaign, Papelbon has appeared in 35 games. With a record of 1-1, the closer has a stellar 1.72 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, a 2.95 FIP, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.43. With opponents hitting just .209 against the 10-year veteran, he still has trade value that can draw certain teams’ interest.
With the amount of injuries the Dodgers have faced to their starting rotation, the team is linked as heavy favorites to make a deal for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. With rumors bound to swirl these next few weeks, the Dodgers will be active towards all facets of baseball so that they can make a move that will push them into serious World Series contention.