The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching the Dodgers and they find themselves in a precarious spot… they don’t really, necessarily need help. They have the best record in baseball and can outscore just about any opponent in the league. Moreover, they have the league’s best bullpen, and some high quality arms in the rotation.
Having said that, this team is also desperate to find some success in October and could look to land a quality piece in an all-in move. So with the team already well built, here we’ll identify three trade targets that the team has been linked to in one way or another that could make a difference come playoff time.
3. Trevor Bauer – SP
Trevor Bauer has turned himself into quite the fan-favorite, even if he doesn’t play for the Dodgers (yet). Whether it’s his desire to one day play for LA or the way he’s supported Joe Kelly after his suspension, fans are ready for the team to bring him home.
Trevor Bauer, 96mph Paint. ?
Bauer is also king of the insta-K strut. ? pic.twitter.com/7nbiIS9Q8S
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 25, 2020
For what it’s worth, Bauer is quietly having a career year down in Cincinnati. He’s gone 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA over 32.2 innings while striking out 49 batters and walking only 9. Bauer would be a quality veteran arm to turn to in a Game 3 situation in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Reds are still in the thick of it, thanks to MLB’s expanded postseason this year. It would most likely take a hefty package to pry him away, but the Dodgers do have the resources to pull it off if they so choose.
2. Lance Lynn – SP
Lynn is in the midst of the finest season of his career. The 33-year-old veteran has posted a 4-0 record with a 1.59 ERA in 7 starts for a bad Texas Rangers team. Proving that his 5th place finish in AL Cy Young voting from last year was no fluke.
Lance Lynn’s FB/Sinker combo vs Machado and Hedges. pic.twitter.com/DC7fh4Rfwl
— brenden m (@BeisbolBrenden) August 26, 2020
The knock on Lynn is that he relies too heavily on his fastball combination, similarly to a Dustin May (without the 99mph). However, he’s allowing only a .302 slugging percentage against on fastball/sinker/cutter mix through 45.1 innings pitched. The Rangers are rumored to be “entertaining offers” on the veteran as they look to add assets in their continued rebuild.
1. Whit Merrifield – 2B/OF
You may already be familiar with Whit Merrifield, as he has been tied as a possible trade target of the Dodgers for the past few seasons, and for good reason. They just don’t make them like Whit anymore, someone who’s as consistent as it gets.
Over his 5 year career, Merrifield has a .296 average while also amounting 113 stolen bases. Taking account for him playing two shortened seasons(his rookie year and 2020), his batting averages would look something like this over a 162 game stretch:
.296/.344/.447 15 HR, 73 RBI, 32 Stolen Bases
Whit Merrifield hits a 3-run blast to put the Royals (-105) up 3-0 over the Tigers.
This is the 7th home run KC has hit this series. ? ? ?pic.twitter.com/nduRNtUECL
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 28, 2020
He may not provide a ton of pop, but he can provide a timely homer when needed. Besides, that isn’t what the Dodgers need in their lineup at this point. Merrifield is someone that would slot in perfectly near the top of the order and would make others even more dangerous thanks to his base running ability. The downside is that Merrifield won’t come cheap considering his team-friendly contract that sees him get an average of $4.06 million per year through 2023. However, someone that hits lefties and can play multiple positions is exactly the type of player that could merit a high-priced trade.
Chances are relatively high that Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman stands pat this trade deadline. However, even after already acquiring Mookie Betts this season, he could pull off his best Andrew Fleeceman impression and still make a difference-making move before September.