2022 Trade Deadline Targets: Primer

It’s trade deadline season. The deadline is Aug. 2 at 3 p.m., and like most years (not 2018) in the Andrew Friedman era, the Dodgers should be plenty active and on the hunt for impact players.

This series is always based in reality, so you won’t see deals for the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout (even if the Angels should probably trade both of them), Wander Franco or Juan Soto. Wait a minute…

Hello there.

Before Saturday, this series was going to be a bit light. We probably would have written up Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, a few relievers and maybe a bench bat. But then this happened, and it’s all I want to write about.

If Soto is truly available, the Dodgers need to go get him. It isn’t often that generational players are available before their athletic prime, and this is precisely that scenario.

I’ll get in-depth on what I would propose (probably tomorrow). Until then, let’s lay out the rest of the series.

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The Dodgers’ starting rotation has been really good this season. Here is where it ranks in the majors categories:

  • 2.77 ERA (1st)
  • 3.51 FIP (2nd)
  • 17.2 K-BB% (5th)
  • .213 BAA (1st)
  • 9.2 fWAR (4th)

It has also relied on a couple unlikely performers. All-Stars Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin have been godsends, especially with with Walker Buehler going down and not back until sometime next month. Combine that with Andrew Heaney‘s shoulder concerns and Dustin May having Tommy John surgery last year, and the Dodgers could use an arm because Anderson and Gonsolin could pumpkin at any moment. Thankfully, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias being great and really good.

Sure, it might make for a hefty rotation, but come the postseason, that could be fleshed out with guys moving to the bullpen to accommodate a new arm.

Outside of the rotation, the bullpen has been a bit of a concern. Craig Kimbrel hasn’t been great replacing Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen is a question mark (on and off the field) at this point and despite finding future closer Yency Almonte, the rest of the ‘pen is hit-and-miss. Daniel Hudson going down with an ACL injury hurt (no pun intended) the depth and I don’t think the Dodgers want to rely on guys like Phil Bickford and Reyes Moronta in high-leverage postseason spots. For that reason, guys like Daniel Bard, Scott Barlow, David Robertson and maybe even Raisel Iglesias (if Arte Moreno could get over himself) could be targets at the deadline. The Dodgers also have guys like Pedro Baez, Dellin Betances and the recently signed Hansel Robles as potential additions later in the season.

At the plate, the bench has been not great at times. Chris Taylor is out, so the depth is hurting a bit. Hanser Alberto has been unimpressive in limited time, Edwin Rios was looking good until he got hurt again and the Dodgers have even had to turn to old friend Trayce Thompson (who has been fine) because of injury. If they don’t land Soto, a right-hander who can handle lefties might be a target. Maybe someone like Garrett Cooper, Chad Pinder (though, I like my players vaccinated) or even old friend Connor Joe would make sense.

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With the draft still happening, these trade deadline profiles will start running out this week. As I said before, we’re beginning with Soto, and that promises to be a beefy one.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. 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.