Degrom is the best option this July
Standing pat is not an option for Dodger fans this July. The Dodgers are still a loaded team as they pass the halfway mark in games played but it is still a team that could use help as they try to catch and pass a good Diamondback team in their quest to get back to the World Series.
The Dodgers have plenty of trade bullets but where and on whom should they use them?
Dustin Nosler may have been kidding when he tweeted this out last night but he has a legit point.
Can Manny Machado pitch? Because that seems like a bigger area of need right now rather than another bat.
— Dustin Nosler (@DustinNosler) July 9, 2018
I’m going to break down the team just to see how legit his point is.
1st Base – Nope, with Cody and Max they are set.
2nd Base – maybe. Mighty Max Muncy is now the starting option but think of what I just wrote. Max Muncy is the Dodgers starting 2nd baseman. No matter how awesome Max has been so far, we should agree that he can’t be this good, that his ability to play 2nd base at the major league level for a team trying to win a World Championship is a legitimate question mark. I would not ignore upgrading at 2nd base just because the Dodgers found the biggest gold nugget in baseball so far. That upgrade could even come from someone else being acquired to play SS, moving Chris Taylor to 2nd base.
SS – you wouldn’t think you need an upgrade here, but when the player being talked about is Manny Machado you have to get involved. Doesn’t an infield of Cody / Taylor / Machado / Turner make you drool just a little? Doesn’t it make you nervous if the Diamondback infield became Goldy/whoever/Machado/Lamb? Talk about an upgrade.
3rd – Nope, with Justin and Max they are set.
RF – Puig seems set when healthy.
CF – Joc/Kiké might be putting up the best CF numbers in baseball since June
LF – Matt Kemp is an all-star, but should they count on that? Probably not, but even if/when Matt falters, they still have Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo ready to show their wares.
SP – If no one else hits the DL between now and the end of the trading deadline, the Dodgers will have seven bonafide starting pitchers. Kershaw/Buehler/Stripling/Wood/Maeda/Hill/Ryu
Keep in mind that Julio Urias is already hitting 91 on the mound as he comes back from his surgery. He should be ready for rehab games shortly and available to the Dodgers in Aug. There is no need for him in the rotation for 2018 but I’d let him start as long as the minor league system is running and hope he gets all his stuff back for a Sept/Oct run in the Dodger bullpen.
RP – Who can best build the bridge to Kenley? Danny Hudson has the role right now but can we count on that? Probably not. Players on the DL include Josh Fields, Pedro Baez, and Tony Cingrani. Cingrani was outstanding last year and for parts of this year before being hurt. Does any Dodger fan really feel comfortable with Josh Fields or Pedro Baez being an important part of the bridge? Scott Alexander was brought over to augment the bullpen and has done just that since coming back from his minor league stint. J.T. Chargois was a nice early addition but hopefully won’t be part of the bullpen come October. I don’t want to see Yimi near a Sept/Oct bullpen. Erik Goeddel has given everything the Dodgers could have hoped for given his price tag but again, I’m not comfortable with him in high leverage situations going forward. The Dodgers just added Dylan Floro who pitched well for the Reds but I doubt he’s a high leverage answer. This leaves me thinking that the Dodgers need to add a bullpen arm, but the question is, do they need to go outside the organization for that arm? The Dodgers have seven starters, they have two young arms in Buehler and Stripling that would add a dynamic set to the bullpen. If they make the postseason you can bring Kenta into the bullpen.
Wouldn’t a bullpen of Jansen / Alexander / Buehler / Stripling / Maeda / Cingrani / Fields/ Hudson/ Urias be a pretty strong group of arms in October? Can anyone else add an arm like Buehler? Or Kenta? Or Stripling? Or Urias?
Which is why I’m not as gung-ho to add a bullpen arm. Sure it looks like our biggest need right now, but will it look like that on Aug 1st when the Dodgers will have a plethora of arms? I haven’t even mentioned Tom Koehler.
Even though you just read how many Dodger rotation pieces they have, the team has strangely enough been linked to Michael Fulmer of the Tigers. Fullmer is a young pitcher, team-controlled through 2023. Why would the Tigers trade Fulmer? Because they are a bad team and while the farm system is showing some nice signs they could use some bodies. Could someone like Michael Fulmer be an upgrade to the Dodger rotation enough that he would be part of an October rotation? He would have been in 2016 when he was the AL ROY and probably in 2017 when he had a solid season. Right now the answer would be no because he’s not pitching that well and certainly is not better than Wood/Stripling/Kenta. Right now. But he might have better stuff than all three of them. Can he tango with Kershaw? Is he the right guy to be the Yu Darvish of 2018? The price will be much higher than Willie Calhoun who is still a man without a position. I’m going to pass on Michael Fuller and instead concentrate on Jacob deGgrom.
Last year I focused on Yu Darvish as the main Dodger target and they went out and got him. Yu did what was expected of him until the World Series nightmare that erased all the good stuff he did against the Diamondbacks and Cubs. The price for Yu was not exorbitant but the price for deGgrom will be. Unlike Yu, he is not a rental, and he has also been the best pitcher in the NL this year. The Dodgers have a plethora of above-average starters, what they don’t have is someone to pair with Kershaw as they had done with Kershaw/Greinke or Kershaw/Yu. Of course, they didn’t win a World Series with those pairs so why would adding deGrom be any different? It may not be, but it would help. You don’t usually get a pitcher like deGrom on the midseason market but the Mets are a total mess right now. They are the worst team in baseball that needs so many holes filled they basically have to either trade deGrom or Thor to repopulate the team. They have a young 1st baseman in AAA that might be the answer. They have no future 2nd baseman, no future 3rd baseman, and their best position prospect of the last ten years has been a huge dud in 2018 at shortstop. They have no catcher. They have a CF and possibly a RF/LF in Cespedes and Conforto but Cespedes is always hurt, and Conforto is hot and cold so much, who knows what he is. Can the Dodger plug those holes for the Mets? The Mets need a home run when they trade deGrom or they won’t be relevant for years. The Dodgers can afford to overpay for a guy who is under team control through 2021. This is why you have a farm system. The Mets would want Walker Buehler. The answer would be no. The Mets would want Alex Verdugo, the answer should be yes. Followed by yes, yes, and yes. Whatever the package would be as long as it does not include Walker Buehler, I’m saying yes. Within limits of course. Everything has limits.
Something like Alex Verdugo / Dustin May / Caleb Ferguson / Will Smith / Gavin Lux / Logan Forsythe
deGrom / Asdrúbal Cabrera
Gives the Mets a future starting outfielder who was the Dodgers number one positional prospect, a future starting pitcher who is probably the best pitching prospect in the system, a future starting pitcher who is only 21 years old and already making starts in the major leagues, a future starting catcher, a future infielder, and Logan is included to offset the salary of Asdrúbal Cabrera.
Yup, that is a big ass package for a big ass ace. Dodger prospect folk will scream the price is too high while Met fans will scream it is not enough, but the end result is a team in October that would have increased their odds of winning a World Series in 2018.
Max Muncy would have a role if he continues this crazy run but just in case he doesn’t the team is covered by Asdrúbal Cabrera if Max Muncy turns into a pumpkin at 2nd base. They still have Andrew Toles in case Matt Kemp follows Muncy into the pumpkin patch, and they have a possible postseason rotation of deGrom / Kershaw / Wood and the future hasn’t been scuttled because deGrom is around in 2019, Walker is around in 2019, Urias is around in 2019, and they have no holes anywhere as Taylor can move to 2nd when Seager comes back to SS.
Doesn’t this look nice:
2018 – Bellinger/Muncy/Cabrera/Taylor/Turner/Chase/Grandal/Barnes/Puig/Joc/Kiké/Kemp/Kershaw/deGrom/Wood/Kenta/Ryu/Hill/Buehler/Stripling/Jansen/Cingrani/Alexander/Hudson/Urias
2019 before even hitting the free agent or trade market. Bellinger/Muncy/Taylor/Seager/Turner/Barnes/Farmer/Puig/Joc/Kiké/Kemp/Toles/Locastro/Kershaw/deGrom/Buehler/Urias/Wood/Stripling/Kenta/Kenley/Alexancer/Koehler/Cingrani/Santana
I’ve always wanted Machado to be a Dodger and if they don’t get deGrom he is my second choice. He’s a rental, the price would be steep but nothing like the deGrom price. He’d be an impact bat at an impact position. You would not see me complain if the Dodgers paid the price for Machado. In fact, you would hear a woooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooo, Just not sure how they would fit him into the salary constraints. Someone else can tell me how they accomplish that.