As the season has almost reached the one-third point, teams that aren’t quite in the playoff hunt may start looking to sell some of their assets.
The one and only Trade Deadline is July 31 in 2019 and there are no waiver trades after that. No longer can teams give themselves an extra month to see if they are contenders so they have to make that decision by July 31. Of course, some are in sell mode already and some teams are getting reality checks as the season moves along.
We’ll look at each team that could be in sell mode by the Trade Deadline and some players that might be interesting to the Dodgers.
Given that the Dodgers are pretty darn good right now, what would you like to see upgraded? Bullpen is always a correct answer but what else? Right handed bat? Catcher?
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) May 19, 2019
A lot depends on the health of A.J. Pollock and the Julio Urías domestic violence findings. Other question marks include if Joe Kelly can find his way, is Tony Cingrani healthy and if the catching combination will hit enough. It is a very good team but, as we’ve seen before, improvements are always needed. The bullpen fell short in both the 2017 and 2018 World Series’ and it would be awful if there was a repeat in 2019.
Let’s start with the American League East teams.
The Blue Jays have been in sell mode since Day 1. They are a team building for the future and the Dodgers previously traded with them in the Russell Martin trade. In looking at their team I saw a lot of decent bullpen arms that seem interesting.
Joe Biagini – Right-Handed Reliever, 28 y/o
Biagini, in his first arbitration year is making $900K this year and will be eligible for arbitration again after the 2019 season. He throws mostly fastballs (94 MPH) and sliders but does mix in a curveball and a change up.
Sam Gaviglio – Right-Handed Reliever, 28 y/o
Gaviglio is not eligible for arbitration and makes close to the Major League minimum. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until before the 2021 season at the earliest. His pitch mix is also mostly fastballs (89 MPH) and sliders. He averages two innings per appearance and that was what stood out to me. To have a reliever that can burn some innings and be effective is a good thing to have.
Ken Giles – Right-Handed Reliever, 28 y/o
Yes, that Ken Giles. He earned his way off the Astros and almost helped the Dodgers win the 2017 World Series. After his second year of arbitration he makes $6.3M this season and will make even more next season. He is all fastballs (97 MPH) and sliders and he’s been very good this year. The change of scenery has sure helped. My big question would be, would he melt on a contending team again?
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles — who's having a terrific season in posting a 1.37 ERA and 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings — could be a trade candidate for the #Cubs, who have already expressed preliminary interest in recent weekshttps://t.co/D2ElYHoZez via @MLBBruceLevine pic.twitter.com/A0NUuTQjtG
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) May 20, 2019
Tim Mayza – Left-Handed Reliever, 27 y/o
Mayza is making close to the minimum and isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2021. He’s a lefty who throws a 94 MPH fastball and a slider. My big concern are his bases-on-balls; walking 11 in 20 innings as of this writing.
Paul Fry – Left-Handed Reliever, 26 y/o
Fry is making close to the the minimum and won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2022. He throws a 90-91 MPH fastball and a slider. His walks are a bit high for my taste and his strikeouts are a bit low. However, he’s only given up only 12 hits in 20 innings.
Mychal Givens – Right-Handed Reliever, 29 y/o
Givens, in his first year of arbitration is making $2.15M and has two more years after this before hitting free agency. He’s bounced back after a down 2018 and he’s struck out 26 in 21 innings. The 8 walks are a bit bothersome, though. He throws a fastball (95 MPH), slider and change up and he’s historically tough on right-handed batters. I wonder how he’d do out of the tight confines of his home ballpark and others in the AL East.
Harry Houdini. David Copperfield. David Blaine. Mychal Givens. pic.twitter.com/BZW620KLcx
— fakeOs (@fakeOs1) May 15, 2019
Trey Mancini – Right-Handed Hitting Left Fielder, 27 y/o
Mancini should actually be a first baseman as he’s brutal in the outfield. He also hits a lot of ground balls and might need a swing revamp. However, he’s slashing .303/.347/.560 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and could be a nice bat to have as a part-timer or as someone to hit off the bench. In the playoffs the Dodgers usually carry 12 pitchers instead of 13 so there is room for another bat off the bench. He’s also making close to the minimum and is eligible for arbitration after 2019.
Stevie Wilkerson – Switch-Hitting Utility, 27 y/o
Wilkerson plays all over the diamond and is a switch-hitter. He has a bit of pop, is cheap and controllable for the next few years. Again, they will need one more player on the bench for the playoffs and versatility is key. He also can be optioned to the minors this year so he can be stashed away if needed.
There are many players that most of us aren’t terribly familiar with but those are the types of players Andrew Friedman likes to trade for. Let’s just hope they don’t give a prospect like Yordan Alvarez for a Josh Fields type. Also, trading for John Axford or Ryan Madson types and calling the bullpen complete is not a great option.
I won’t get to him until later but Sean Doolittle is the type of bullpen piece that needs to be acquired. They’ve gone big before at the trade deadline and I hope they do it again, especially with the bullpen. Next, I’ll cover the AL Central.