If there’s a starting pitcher available for trade at the moment, they are probably linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Even though the Dodgers added Alex Wood and Mat Latos on Thursday, they were still reported to be searching for more starting pitching. In a season in which they have used 14 different starting pitchers and saw their number three and number for starter go down for the year, the Dodgers have managed to remain in first place to this point. With just half a game separating the NL West leaders and their rival San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers are using the trade deadline to set themselves up for a stretch run.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Dodgers join two NL West opponents with interest in a right-hander from the AL East:
Source: Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs believed to have interest in Rays' starter Nate Karns. "No urgency" on Rays' part to deal him.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 30, 2015
Cotillo didn’t change his stance on the interest in Nate Karns on Friday morning:
As of yesterday, had heard Dodgers, Giants, DBacks in on Karns. https://t.co/KFHjw52Sqz
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2015
Karns is a 27-year-old in his second season with the Tampa Bay Rays after being traded from the Washington Nationals. The right-hander is 6-5 with a 3.37 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 20 starts (115 IP) this season. He would come with team control through the 2020 season.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is familiar with Karns, considering he’s the one who traded for him from his days in the Rays front office. It makes sense that he would try to acquire him again, especially if it’s a smart deal for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have been linked to right-handers Yovani Gallardo, Tyson Ross and Carlos Carrasco in addition to Karns, and knowing Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi, a deal should get done by the deadline.