A Los Angeles Dodgers rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Mike Bolsinger isn’t too shabby, and their 5th ranked ERA proves it.
With scouts hounding Cole Hamels and other major prospects, the Los Angeles checkbook will undeniably open wide before July 31, but just how wide depends on what prospects are currently available within the Dodgers organization. We know San Francisco doesn’t plan on spending big, San Diego is effectively done as are the Diamondbacks. That leaves the West for Los Angeles to take, but they’ll need big names to run away with the division.
Hamels, who may cost the Dodgers top prospects Julio Urias and/or Corey Seager, would push Carlos Frias into a more useful long reliever role, slotting the Phillies southpaw right behind Greinke. It’s believed that Yasiel Puig would eventually become trade bait should Los Angeles want to make an epic deal sweeter, which wouldn’t hurt since Andre Ethier doesn’t need platooning with two left fielders at the Dodgers disposal. Some have linked Chicago White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Los Angeles, although that would seriously downgrade the staff Mattingly has worked hard to keep focused on winning this season.
Another big name tossed around the Dodgers clubhouse is Johnny Cueto, who would definitely increase Los Angeles’ strikeout ratio and even add another personality for youngsters like Yasmani Grandal to learn from. With Brandon McCarthy, Ryu, Frias and Chris Hatcher currently doing DL stints, the Dodgers 40 man roster looks thinner at the pitching position than many can remember in recent years.
Hitting should also get addressed by Los Angeles before the deadline, and with Milwaukee, Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadephia and several others aggressively seeking rebuilding chips, beefy bats like Jay Bruce, Gerardo Parra, Marlon Byrd, Yoenis Cespedes and even Ryan Howard could become easily accessible to an already battle hardened Dodgers lineup. The only players believed to be off limits in trade talks include Yimi Garcia, Seager and Urias.
Although the Dodgers are poised to bring aboard marquee players, they’ll still need to consider Greinke’s contract when it expires this winter. Also, keep in mind San Francisco isn’t afraid to get aggressive during August and September, yet unless the Dodgers stand down during the non-waiver trade deadline, the Giants shouldn’t factor into any postseason contention given the Pirates and Cubs solid (and less ancient) pitching staff.
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