After the bullpen nearly squandered a surefire win on Saturday night (thank you Matt Beaty), the pressure continues to heat up for Andrew Friedman to fix it before the deadline. But there’s another pressing need that’s also plagued the Dodgers for many years: weakness against left-handed pitching. While the offense is potent, it’s still lefty-heavy
As an antidote to this flaw, the Dodgers have often been linked to Detroit Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos. From every angle, it’s not hard to see why. At 27, he’s in the heart of his prime. Since his rookie year of 2014, he’s been a superb hitter in every facet, hitting for average and power in equal proportion.
His best year thus far is 2017, when he led the AL with 10 triples and passed 100 RBIs for the first time in his career He currently leads the majors in doubles with 33. Most importantly, he absolutely crushes left-handed pitching. Adding him to a lineup that’s already being buoyed by A.J. Pollock’s sound right-handed bat would balance it perfectly.
All the more tantalizing is the possibility of the Dodgers getting Castellanos in a package deal along with reliever Shane Greene. Rumors of such a deal picked up when Dodger scouts were spotted at a recent Tigers game. The only question is what it would take to get both. The Dodgers might need to part with outfield prospect DJ Peters in order to do so, which I wouldn’t object to. However, I continue to hold out hope they land Pirates bullpen ace Felipe Vazquez, the most important need due to the paucity of lefties in the pen.
Considering the asking price for him has been as high as two elite prospects, I’d hesitate to send one to Detroit, lest Friedman can build a less lopsided package for either team.
If Los Angeles wants Castellanos, they may have to act fast too. Word has surfaced that the Cubs want in on him as well. While Vazquez remains the undisputed prize for the Dodgers this trade season, Castellanos might just be too young and talented to pass up on during a season as opportune as this one.