This is the second part of my look at possible trade targets. The focus is on teams that should be deadline sellers and the first article is here. To be completely transparent, I am writing this after the bullpen disaster in Tampa Bay. The bullpen has 8 blown saves and 10 losses as of this writing. There is no way this is a World Series winning bullpen. They can’t count on things like Kenta Maeda or a starter from the being a big part of the bullpen. They did it last year with both Maeda and Alex Wood. Maeda was decent but Wood was awful. Sean Doolittle should be the number one target.
I understand and am aware that bullpen acquisitions are the most unpredictable and expensive moves that don't always pan out, but…
if you still don't think we need bullpen help, I'm not sure what to say.
— AJ Gonzalez? (@AJontheguitar) May 23, 2019
The American League Central is a dumpster fire as there are 2 teams that were in sell mode before the season started and one that put all their eggs into a Manny Machado-sized basket. There are some interesting players that the Dodgers might consider.
The White Sox were counting on a big winter by signing either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Even after acquiring some of Machado’s friends he still signed with the Padres. It won’t be another year or two before they are ready to contend so they should be selling soon.
Alex Colomé – Right-Handed Reliever, 30 y/o
Colomé makes $7.325M this season and has another season of arbitration. He would not be a free agent until after the 2020 season. When he was with the Rays many Dodgers’ fans wanted Colomé but now might be the time to go after him. He’s been consistently good and even was the setup guy for Edwin Diaz for much of 2018. This would be a great fit for the Dodgers.
Aaron Bummer – Left-Handed Reliever, 25 y/o
Bummer is a minimum wage player who can’t be a free agent for quite a few years. He’s also been much improved in 2019 and could be a breakout reliever. He might cost quite a bit for a guy without a huge track record but, as with any reliever, the risk might be worth it.
Jose Abreu – Right-Handed Hitting 1B, 32 y/o
I put Abreu in this list because he is a free agent at the end of the season and he’s known for hitting good pitching. He’s also a good person in the clubhouse. The right-handed bat would add a lot of balance to the lineup. The problem I see is that it would force Max Muncy to play 2B on a full-time basis, which would degrade the infield defense a lot. He is making $16M this season.
— Strand Sport Stats (@StrandStats) May 22, 2019
The Tigers should be selling now. They are building an interesting farm system, helped by having some very high draft picks.
Shane Greene – Right-Handed Reliever, 30 y/o
Greene is making $4M this season and is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. He’s had a breakout season with the Tigers and could be a huge addition to the Dodgers’ bullpen. Again, the cost would be high but this is one to heavily consider. My biggest concern would be he’s doing his best work on a bad team. The pressure cooker of LA has exposed many players.
Nicholas Castellanos – Right-Handed Hitting OF, 27 y/o
Castellanos is a free agent after the 2019 season and is making $9.950M this season. His defense is poor and he’s off to a mediocre start. There were rumors the Dodgers were interested in him this past off-season and he’d probably not cost much. He might be worth the small gamble to provide another right-handed bat, especially if A.J. Pollock can’t come back.
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The Royals are similar to the Tigers, except they actually won the World Series in 2015.
Jake Diekman – Left-Handed Reliever, 32 y/o
Diekman is one of those relievers that comes in to face left-handed batters. Given the recent ineffectiveness of Scott Alexander and Caleb Ferguson a LOOGY is needed. He makes $2.25M with an option of $500K for next season. Again, this is someone that should be pretty cheap but let’s hope they don’t give up a Yordan Alvarez-type talent.
Scott Barlow – Right-Handed Reliever, 26 y/o
Barlow left the Dodgers as a 6-year minor league free agent in 2017 and signed with the Royals. Mostly a starter, he’s only pitched in relief for the Royals in the Major Leagues. What caught my eye was the 38 strikeouts in 24 innings. He’s increased his slider usage by almost 20% with excellent results. Too bad the Dodgers didn’t know what they had before.
The Dodgers clearly need some bullpen help in order to have a chance at winning the World Series. It looks like there are some decent options that could be available from the AL Central teams and they should be available soon.
Last year the Dodgers totally failed in their pursuit of bullpen help near the trade deadline and it helped cost them the World Series. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.