Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Trade Deadline Run...That Time of Year

Here come the asinine trade deadline proposals.  Some enjoy this time of year.  I, on the other hand, cringe as I follow twitter feeds in the final hours of the trade deadline season.  It is a time to fear the type of acquisitions that often are regretted for years to come.

So we approach the final weeks before the trade deadline.  That annual event when cellar dwellers attempt to strip the Dodger farm system cupboard bare.  As always, it's a sellers market and often times, teams tempted to go for the brass ring at all costs show a willingness to peddle off two or three times the talent they would get in a typical off-season deal.  

The latest lackluster franchise trying to rip off the Dodgers this go-around is the Baltimore Orioles.  With shortstop Manny Machado out there for the taking.  Teams know he is is a two month rental before he enters the free agent ranks with Dan Lozano as his representative.

We can argue until the wee hours about Machado’s value to the Dodgers, but short of bringing them a World Series championship, it may be unwise for L.A. to give up Alex Verdugo, Yadier Alvarez and more for this guy.   A name like Rancho Cucamonga starter Dustin May comes to mind.  Manny Machado's offensive prowess is unsurpassed, but do the Dodgers really need to trade away the farm for a guy that won’t be a Dodger after 2018?  Or do they risk allowing him to sign with Arizona and possibly losing their 5 year reign on the Division Title?
Alex Verdugo, possible trade bait at the deadline (photo by Jon SooHoo/L.A. Dodgers)

If you recall last season, the Dodgers were apparently a player in the J.D. Martinez sweepstakes before the Diamondbacks landed him.  He then absolutely raked in the N.L. West.  As good as that move was, it still didn’t get Arizona the Division, nor a deep entrance into post season.  This is the conundrum that the Dodger brass must face.  They can pay big for a chance at the brass ring or ride the ponies that are already in place.
Yadier Alvarez has been rehabbing at Camelback Ranch this year.  This fireballer is rumored to be dealt at the deadline (photo by Jason Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

It can be argued that the Dodgers already have enough to win it all.  Muncy has shown he’s the real thing.   Kemp is comeback player of the year.  Pederson and Enrique Hernandez are proving to be extremely valuable pieces.  Bellinger, Turner, Puig, Taylor, Barnes and (dare I say it?) Forsythe have yet to hit their stride.  Some are severely underperforming and all are most likely to improve in the second half.  Those in-house improvements in individual performance might be enough to get them over the top.  The key word there being “might.”

There is little doubt that an addition of a premium bat in that lineup will really help, and infuse enthusiasm in the entire ball club.  This could be the type of impetus that puts them over the top.  This Dodger team is made up of professionals, veterans that have now experienced that taste of an N.L. championship, and they were within an eyelash of winning the whole thing.  They shouldn’t require that emotional lift, but they’re human too.  We’ve all seen what an offensive addition at the deadline can do.  Remember 2008 and Manny Ramirez?

With the starting pitching beginning to come around, and some bullpen guys such as Alexander and Hudson hitting their stride, the starting pitching arms look to be lined up for the stretch run. Perhaps the injuries were a blessing in disguise as hurlers like Kershaw, Hill, Maeda and Beuhler should not be fatigued with heavy inning loads by September.  

We all saw that some of the pitching was on fumes in the 2017 post season.  Aside from the aforementioned starters, L.A. is looking at the possible return of Ryu and Urias as well. Emergent and surprising ace Ross Stripling will likely be fatigued, but hopefully others picking up the slack will allow him to not be pressed into as many high stress innings as he has this first half.  He is a pitcher that has matures and come into his own in 2018.

Zaidi and Friedman have utilized the ten day DL to grant relievers some rest.  Guys like Fields, Cingrani, Alexander, Liberatore, Goeddel and Paredes have had their share of rest and bounces back to the minor leagues.  Another key bullpen acquisition may be in the cards, but it may have already occurred with the acquisition of Dylan Floro from Cincinnati.

The coming weeks will also play a part in the Dodgers midseason trade activity.  If the ball club continues to excel as it has for the past six weeks, the urgency for change may not be as apparent.  Undoubtedly this all plays a role in the psyche of the front office as the deadline looms but this Dodger club continues to be on the cusp of another pennant and potential World Series Championship.  There are those that argue that the Dodgers would have the World Series ring had they not made the deadline deal for Yu Darvish.  It is interesting argument, that's for sure.






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