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Dodgers Rumors: Multiple Teams Interested In Alex Verdugo Trade

January in Major League Baseball is a month that the hot stove rumors continue to run hot. Moreover, many of these rumors discussed internally in front offices fail to ever come to fruition.

Michael Duarte of NBC Sports Los Angeles has been a long-time friend of Dodgers Nation (follow him on twitter here). Equally important, he is a well-tied in source with the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

On Wednesday evening, he reported that the club has a score of teams sniffing around the blue-chip prospect. However, it’s more of an ‘if’ scenario than a full rumor.

Duarte says that beyond Miami and Cleveland – Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis, and the New York Mets hold interest in trading for Verdugo. The key here is the ‘if’ mentioned by Duarte. Los Angeles holds the cards in this hand, and we simply can’t know what they’re thinking.

At this stage, it’s more smoke than a smoldering fire. Still, it’s a situation worth monitoring on several fronts. Verdugo’s name has been mentioned all offseason. Equally important – if Verdugo is moved in a trade – the probability of Bryce Harper signing with Los Angeles moves up a tick. The Dodgers are unlikely to move an outfielder at this stage without a contingency plan in place.

Verdugo handled himself well in 2018 in 86 big league plate appearances. He hit .260 with a .706 OPS, which included six doubles.

Analysis

If the Dodgers move Alex Verdugo – it is a message that they’re simply not as high on his ceiling as some might guess. Other teams around baseball have high regard and interest in the 23-year old outfielder for a good reason. In watching him over limited big league appearances, he has a quiet and solid approach. He should develop into a player who has a solid big league career at worst. I label him as a ‘high floor’ ballplayer, and would be fine if he becomes an everyday outfielder for Los Angeles. However, if a deal is offered to Los Angeles that yields a valuable veteran; they must pull the trigger. How do you feel about the Dodgers possibly moving Verdugo in a trade and what would you want back?

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. The troubling comments about Verdugo since he was drafted continue to surface. From Baseball America 2018 scouting report: “Verdugo’s skills are undeniable, but criticisms of his effort level and maturity have plagued him since his amateur days and were again prevalent in 2017.” “…he will have to improve his focus and motor to reach his above average, every day potential.” If Dodgers are satisfied that Verdugo has overcome those issues he will only be traded for a significant return, certainly not for a player like Castellanos who only has one year of team control. As part of a package for a player like Mitch Haniger of the M’s? I think Dodgers would much prefer to trade Pederson before Verdugo.

    • We will be able to tell what they think depending on if they trade him or not. Or what they get in a trade for him. I think they are very high on him and he is the reason they traded Puig. They knew they could not leave him in the Minors another year and they think that Pederson can improve.

      I am not a Pederson fan but he has worked on his hitting each year and come up clutch in some situations. He also according to reports is a positive clubhouse guy and is working hard.

      I like the team going forward with Verdugo and Toles fighting it out for OF playing time. People forget how good Toles was 2 years ago. Toles has had the worst luck as everytime he gets hot recently he has gotten injured.

      I do agree that they should trade Pederson if they can get anyone of value back for him but I think he is not valued…

      • We need more RHB in the lineup, ya know ones that won’t need to be platooned. Too many marginal players created as a result. Toles, I am ok with but I am not sure we need to have an all LH hitting OF. IMHO that won’t cut it and that would certainly lead to more daily platooning because as of now this team we be facing a lot of LHP until, like in 2017, they can show a noticeable improvement against them.

    • Mitch Haniger? Smh. No if they’re going to trade a highly touted prospect they need to take full advantage and get Realmuto or Kluber. DERRRRR da derpa da derp derp derp

    • Good day SoCal. Correct in if Verdugo is in fact traded it MUST BE for a significant return and NOT THE ZERO MLB ready return they got from the Reds. Obviously a shortage of RH bats is an issue as of now. Agree also that 1 year of Castellanos won’t cut it because another consideration is that he has been in the AL all these years and may, like many find it hard to adjust to NL pitching at the outset.

  2. as long as they don’t trade Bellinger, he’s a stud with too much upside!!! I read that Miami wants him for JT Realemuto (2yrs control vs 5 for Bellinger?

  3. Of course everyone is interested in Verdugo…he’s going to be a star. Why not be a star for the Dodgers? Even if they get Harper, Verdugo can’t play left field? Myself I like Verdugo in right, Bellinger in center and Toles in left…another star in the making if he could get the at bats and a bonafide leadoff which we don’t have.

  4. the fact that Verdugo has been the player asked for in trades for the last couple of years and the Dodgers have held on to him, should say something as far as what they think of him. Now, hes’s 23 and has nothing left to prove in the minors. I think the Dodgers would have traded Puig regardless of what happens with Bryce Harper because they do have Verdugo. With Muncy at 1st an outfield of Joc/Toles, Verdugo and Belli looks pretty good.

    • George, an OF that you just pointed out (all LHB) won’t cut it as I just said. Nothing wrong necessarily with those players ya mentioned here, but not all in the OF at once.

  5. Play him or trade him that simple. He’s proven himself in the minors. Either Dodgers do whats right for the young guy or trade him. He deserves an everyday job

  6. I think these Dodgers prospects are overrated if the Dodgers FO doesn’t bring them up to the majors and give them a chance to sink-or-swim or do other teams think that highly of them.

  7. I am wondering if the Dodgers would consider using Verdugo as part of a package to Cleveland for Kluber and another player. Then, as Clint suggests, going after Harper to fill the right field vacancy. An outfield of Harper, Belles, and Taylor/Toles/Joc is formidable. Then, if possible, I go after Cervalli for two years only as he can mentor the youngsters. We need to compensate for all of the home runs we have traded away. Go Blue!!!

  8. Can Verdugo hit from both sides of the plate……that hasn’t been addressed……..if he can, that would open up another spot since we seem to have only leftty hitters for the field …..that gets us into trouble as we see happening in previous years…..player sits on the bench and maybe get two at bats in a game and he is expected to win a game and a bad player if he strikes out

  9. Verdugo has to stay and be our centerfielder since they said it a few times last two years that He’s our best centerfielder and put Cody back at first with Joc in left and Taylor in right field Muncy at second and there you don’t need to platoon anybody with Kike and Toles filling in to give starters days off.there you don’t need To spend on Harper or trade for realmuto and Barnes starting at catcher we don’t need him to hit 30 hrs since we should have enough firepower and the best pitching staff is enough to win everything our problem is Roberts making stupid decisions.I see Joc hitting 37 plus hrs with over 95 rbis and a decent 275 average if he plays everyday.Cody over 40 hrs 100 plus rbis 280 plus average and gold glove at first.Seaver over 30 hrs 100 rbis 300 plus average Turner 30 plus hrs 100 rbis 300 plus average Muncy 30 plus hrs 90 rbis , Taylor25 plus hrs 80 plus rbis 280 average Verdugo 15 plus hrs 75 rbis .We only need Barnes to do his job defensively we have enough firepower but they need to play almost forgot Kike should have enough at bats to hit 20 plus hrs 75 plus rbis.

    • Wow.. Luis, you just called out five Dodgers to have MVP seasons. It’s fun to dream, but even as a lifelong fan, I that to be a tough one to believe in. Collectively, this group would have to cut down on strikeouts – particularly Pederson, Belli, and Taylor. As for positioning, Bellinger needs to be in the outfield as his speed and defense are wasted at first – where Muncy greatly improved. Several of these players are prone to 10-15 day DL stints, so Kiki and Taylor will get there hacks without having to force platoons. The biggest problem you didn’t address is the perennial problem of hitting lefties, alleviated some with the trade of Puig, but your lineup includes five starters from the left side of the plate – and a sixth when you toss in most of the Dodger starters. This is fine when playing against teams not going anywhere, but come August as the playoff picture begins to form, the plus-.500 teams will line up their starters to counter the left-heavy Dodgers. If Bellinger gets back to his left-spits of his rookie season, then the lineup changes dramatically. I agree with most of the responses that Harper isn’t the answer; though he’s exciting, his splits against lefties don’t justify his asking price on a team that is stacked with left-handed hitters.

  10. Don’t trade him. If there’s an attitude problem, deal with it – they did with Puig, and he had just as high a ceiling. By May, and in the absence of injuries and without any additional signings, I could see a line up of Verdugo, Toles/Taylor, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Muncy, Hernandez, Martin/Barnes – or something close to that order. This lefty-heavy lineup needs to work on some small-ball and cut down on strikeouts. Lay down bunts to keep infielders on their toes and counter the shifts and threaten to steal to encourage pitchers to throw something harder with little spin. With so many advances and metrics playing in the run-prevention game, the Dodger left-heavy lineup would benefit from countering these approaches. As for second base, I can see Taylor playing there over Hernandez but don’t rule out an appearance from Gavin Lux or the potential signing of a very versatile, positive dugout presence, 31yo, Josh Harrison.

  11. I don’t see how the Dodgers could not feel that they’re not close to having the talent to win a World Series. Red Sox blasted us with better pitching and hitting. What does Friedman do? He signs Joe Kelly and trades for Martin. Not going to get it done. Where is Kluber? He’d put our pitching over the top. They let the Yankees sign DJ lemahieu and we lost puig and kemp and wood. We have a bunch of .250 hitters. Only Turner and Seager can hit for average. Pathetic offseason so far in my opinion. Taylor, Bellinger, and verdugo in the outfield scares nobody.

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