The August 1st MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching. The Los Angeles Dodgers currently sit 5.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West race, and the pressure is on to go out and try to acquire a piece to shorten the gap. While the team has been playing much better as of late, with the injuries still piling up, the front offices’ hand may be forced to look towards the trade market. It seems most likely that the team will look to upgrade the starting rotation and there are a few intriguing candidates out there if the Dodgers do decide to go down that path.
While there are many options out there that the team could pursue, there have been three players that have been connected to the Dodgers more often than not. Rich Hill of the Oakland A’s, the Tampa Bay Rays Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore are three pitchers that are very publicly on the trading block and the Dodgers figure to be in on all three of them.
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With Clayton Kershaw still on the DL with a back issue, the team is in desperate need of a starting pitcher to bridge the gap until Kersh is back. Not only will a new pitcher help the rotation right now, if a legitimate No. 2 can establish himself behind Kershaw, the team will be that much more solid in any potential playoff series. The team did go out and add Bud Norris and while he has been solid this season, he is not exactly the big name that Dodgers fan so desire.
Rich Hill of the Oakland Athletics looks to be the biggest prize this deadline despite the fact he has recently dealt with some nagging minor injuries.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 18, 2016
This season has easily been the best of the journeyman’s career as he has posted a 9-3 record, with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP seemingly out of no where. The main issue with Hill is that he has only eclipsed 100 innings one other time in his 11-year career back in 2007 and he is up there in age as well, being 36-years-old.
However, Hill has been utterly dominant this season and if the Dodgers could get him without parting with a high ranking prospect, it would be quite a coup. However, it looks like the A’s are asking a lot for Hill, which may be a deterrent for the Dodgers.
Oakland's asking price for the Red Sox for Rich Hill was the same as San Diego's for Drew Pomeranz: Anderson Espinoza.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2016
Espinoza was the San Diego Padres top pitching prospect and it is highly unlikely, nigh impossible, to think that the Dodgers will part with Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, or even someone like Grant Holmes for a few potentially good months of Rich Hill.
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As far as Odorizzi and Moore go, neither one has lit the world on fire with their stats this season, but they are 26 and 27 respectively with lots of years left of club control. For a while Chris Archer was an intriguing name who the Tampa Bay Rays could have been coaxed into parting ways, but, that is looking highly unlikely at this point.
Rays have told teams Chris Archer is not available unless somebody totally overwhelms them. So, he's not available.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2016
Dodgers can forget about bringing Chris Archer over from St. Petersburg. A trade for Odorizzi could be more reasonable.
— Orange County Dodger Fans (@OCDodgerFans) July 18, 2016
Whether it is Hill or any of the numerous Rays pitchers who appear to be available, it is looking more and more likely that the Dodgers will get some kind of pitching help at the deadline. With the incredibly successful return of Brandon McCarthy and Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson coming sooner rather than later, if one more impact arm is added, the Dodgers may suddenly have one of the leagues top rotations.
In addition to this, Hyun-Jin Ryu will get his second start of the season on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals after struggling in his season debut.
With less than two weeks till the deadline, things will certainly begin heating up as the sprint to the playoffs really truly begins.
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