Assuming Andrew Friedman and company are interested in acquiring one of these stars, they will have to pay a significant price in the currency of prospects. With that in mind, let’s take a look at who should be considered “untouchable” in trade talks.
— Wyatt Asher (@Wyatt_Asher_) November 16, 2019
When attempting to figure out who the Dodgers may or may not move, it is best to look at Andrew Friedman’s trade history over the past few years. When doing so, a common theme occurs.
Whether it is Josh Reddick/Rich Hill in 2016, Yu Darvish in 2017, or Manny Machado in 2018, there is no arguing Andrew Friedman is not the “prospect hugger” some make him out to be. However, the pattern to recognize is who the Dodgers gave up in these deals in the context of their entire farm system.
In 2016, it was Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas, and Grant Holmes. A solid group of pitchers, and Montas excelled this year before being busted with PED’s, but no real headliners.
Looking at 2017, the Dodgers sent out Willie Calhoun. An impressive prospect at the time, but was better suited for the AL where he could be a DH. Again, not a needle-mover.
For 2018, the Dodgers traded to Baltimore a group of five players, headlined by a mid-top 100 prospect in Yusniel Diaz. A valuable asset, but not a top-of-the-line guy by any means.
Dodgers baseball President Andrew Friedman: “Our mindset is to be aggressive, without reaching the point of stupidity.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 12, 2019
In all of these trades, the Dodgers set several guys as off limits, and were more than open to dealing players beyond them. In 2014 Corey Seager was set off limits, Julio Urias in 2015, Cody Bellinger in 2016, Walker Buehler in 2017, Alex Verdugo in 2018, and this year, as we saw with the Felipe Vazquez negotiations, Dustin May and Gavin Lux.
Gavin Lux went yard in his first postseason AB. Doesn’t get sweeter than that. ? pic.twitter.com/57NSRwB08i
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 4, 2019
While Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor are franchise-altering talents, they also only have one and two years of team control, respectively. Lux and May have a combined twelve, while also costing much less.
No doubt, fans will want the Dodgers to pay whatever price necessary to get certain superstars, but Friedman’s history of setting one or two guys off limits has paid off thus far. How many fans wanted to trade Cody Bellinger for Brian Dozier? Or Corey Seager for Cole Hamels? Walker Buehler for Sonny Gray?
So Who’s Untouchable?
In looking back at the 2019 trade deadline you may more or less be able to figure out the front office’s list of prospects they will hold on to this off-season. And with that, it’s safe to say that Los Angeles would need to be blown out of the water to include Dustin May or Gavin Lux in any trades this winter.
Dustin May, 98mph Sinker and K Hop.
I think the K Hop convinced Manny Gonzalez that it was a strike. ? pic.twitter.com/PURqXcNGN5
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 29, 2019
Tony Gonsolin is likely right up there with May and Lux. And, while he’s no longer considered a prospect, Will Smith is already set as the club’s starting catcher for the 2020 season, so he’s not going anywhere.
Who Could Be Moved?
As for who the Dodgers would trade, Keibert Ruiz is a candidate to be a headliner in a package deal, especially with the breakout season of Will Smith. Pitching prospects Josiah Gray and Mitchell White made big strides in 2019, but could probably be had in the right move. Position players like Jeter Downs and DJ Peters as well.
The main takeaway is that Andrew Friedman has a very impressive trade history (Yordan Alvarez as the lone outlier) and one worth trusting. By keeping the top guys he is able to give the club its own, cost-controlled stars within, while still being aggressive by trading the second tier prospects.
Again, just don’t expect Lux or May to be moved in a deal.