Dodgers acquire two prospects for July 2 money, sign Trevor Cahill

Since the Dodgers have blown by their $2,020,300 bonus spending pool, it only makes sense that they’d look to trade some of that bonus amount. I predicted as much earlier today.

“They might be able to trade some of their slot amounts to teams that don’t want to incur financial penalties, because what’s a couple million bucks less on their final spending amount.”

I’m awesome.

What’s even more awesome is the fact the Dodgers actually got a couple of not-non-prospects in return for $1,071,300 million in international money (slots 27, 57 and 117). They sent it to Toronto for right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong and second baseman Timothy Locastro. Sure, they aren’t Jeff Hoffman or Daniel Norris, but they at least have some value. The Dodgers have one remaining slot they can trade that is in the neighborhood of $300,000.

De Jong, 21, is a solidly built right-gander (6’4, 205 pounds) who was the 81st selection in the 2012 MLB Draft. He has been pitching in the Midwest League with Lansing and was just promoted to the Florida State League. The Dodgers assigned him to Rancho Cucamonga, where he’ll presumably slide into the rotation.

Coming out of Wilson High School in Long Beach, he had a high-80s/low-90s fastball, a potentially above-average curveball and a below-average changeup. That’s still the scouting report on him, as he hasn’t added as much velocity as some were predicting. However, he has a lot of pitchability and locates his pitches well. He owns a 1.8 BB/9 in 251 1/3 minor-league innings, so he has good control. His mechanics are clean and repeatable. He won’t overtake guys like Jose De Leon or Grant Holmes in the system, but he’s a potential Top 30 guy who could be a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever at the next level. What will determine is future is the development/progress of his changeup. If he has to pitch out of the bullpen, his stuff could tick up a bit. If not, think of a Mike Bolsinger-like pitcher going forward.

Locastro, 23 in 12 days, was a 13th-rounder in 2013 and has done nothing but make contact since turning pro. He has a career triple slash of .305/.399/.392 with just 60 strikeouts in 761 plate appearances. Seems like a Giants-like player (high contact, minimal strikeouts), and that seems to be working out pretty well for them. Still, Locastro isn’t a huge prospect by any means, but he could have a future in the majors (if he does, it’d be as a super utility guy, ala Nick Punto). He’s also adept at getting hit by pitches. He almost has as many of those (59) as he does strikeouts. If nothing else, he provides some depth at second base in the system, where he’s a solid defender.

The Dodgers basically traded nothing for these guys. It’s just another way they have used their financial might to acquire real baseball assets.

=====

The Dodgers signed another Dominican outfielder after I published the first July 2 post earlier today. Christopher Arias, 16, agreed to a $500,000 deal. Here’s what Ben Badler had to say about him:

“Raw power is the calling card for Arias, who is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, though he’s still learning to make more contact in games. He’s close to an average runner now and projects to add significant size and strength, so he should fit defensively in left or right field. Arias trains with Amauris Nina and played in the International Prospect League.”

Lottery tickets. Yay! For what it’s worth, unsigned Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez also trained with Amauris Nina. Martinez is expected to choose between the Dodgers and Cubs in the coming days.

A quote from the Dodgers’ press release from international scouting director Bob Engle:

“We’re excited to add nine highly-skilled prospects as we continue to re-stock, inject talent and build depth at all levels of our organization. These signings are a testament to the hard work of our scouts and the international appeal of the Dodger brand.'”

And the updated signing list:

Player Bonus
Yadier Alvarez $16,000,000
Starling Heredia $2,600,000
Ronny Brito $2,000,000
Oneil Cruz $950,000
Christopher Arias $500,000
Aldo Espinoza unknown
Ramon Rasso unknown
Carlos Rincon unknown
Luis Rodriguez unknown
Total $22,050,000

I couldn’t find anything about Rasso. I saw it on True Blue LA, and this is what Eric Stephen had to say about it:

“The Dodgers also apparently signed right-handed pitcher Ramon Rosso, a 6’4, 190-pound 19-year-old, though the bonus is unknown and again the club hasn’t announced any of these deals yet officially.”

Neat.

=====

Finally — and I may have buried the lede — the Dodgers signed a veteran to a minor-league contract.

Yep. Trevor Cahill. They were rumored to be getting him when they traded Juan Uribe to the Braves. Instead, they got Eric Stults (who is at Double-A Tulsa). Now, they have Cahill.

This screams, “We can fix him!” I’m not holding my breath. The only things working in Cahill’s favor are his age (27) and his ground ball rate (63.5 percent in 2015, 54.9 in his career). He’s worth a flyer, but don’t expect him to regain his Oakland form anytime soon.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.