Randy Arozarena or Bo Bichette: Who fits the Dodgers better at the trade deadline?

With Mookie Betts likely out until sometime until mid-to-late August, the Dodgers might need to make a move to address that. The trade deadline (Aug. 1) will come and go, so they just can’t wait until he comes back and then address it. They were likely to make a move or two regardless of any injury, but Betts’ fractured hand has made it even more likely a significant move will be struck.

Bruce broke down the Dodgers’ internal options shortly after the injury, and while there are a couple of intriguing options, it’d be more for a team that’s up-and-coming, rather than a World Series-contending team.

Well, Jeff Passan dropped an article yesterday that looked at potential additions for contending teams. While we’d all love Luis Robert Jr. and (more so) Garrett Crochet, that’s not as realistic as the two players mentioned below.

“Weakness: Outfield
Best match: Randy Arozarena
There’s an argument to be made that the Dodgers go full Death Star: Get Bo Bichette from Toronto to play shortstop, move Mookie Betts back to right field upon his return from a broken hand, slide Teoscar Hernandez to left and mash. Or they could take the risk on Arozarena — in the midst of the worst season of his career — and figure joining a lineup with Betts, Hernandez, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith would help him find his mojo.”

This trade deadline could very well come down to who the Dodgers like more for the acquisition cost: Arozarena or Bichette. But, are either big enough upgrades to justify making the move?

The split between the Dodgers’ 1-5 hitters and 6-9 hitters is quite extreme.


Quite the disparity, which will happen when your 1-5 is some form of Betts, Ohtani, Freeman, Smith, Max Muncy and Hernandez. Andy Pages has been a nice boost in the second half of the lineup, but he’s also a rookie and already been through on prolonged slump. Miguel Rojas (115 wRC+) is playing way above his career offensive output (82 wRC+ prior to 2024), and the others in the bottom of the lineup are either vastly underperforming or much more suited for platoon duty.

That brings us back to Arozarena and Bichette. Both of them have struggled this season, which is what’s prompting the Rays and Blue Jays to even entertain trading those players. Arozarena — who has never had a wRC+ worse than 124 — is sitting at 95 this season with a .191/.304/.348 batting line. His strikeouts are up slightly (26.2 K%) from last season (23.9%) and his .157 isolated power is still better than average. He’s getting destroyed on batted balls in play. His career BABIP before this season was .331, this season it’s almost 100 points lower at .232. His average exit velocity is in the 71st percentile at 90.5 MPH, but his HardHit% is down to 32.1% from 38.5% last season. He’s also making more soft contact at 18.7% (down from his career-best 13.5% last season) and the line drive rate is down (18.1 to 13.4) while the ground ball rate is about the same. The fly ball rate is up — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — but his infield fly ball rate is also up. The BABIP on infield fly balls is essentially .000, so that hurts him. And if you look at the counting numbers, he has hit 25 balls this season that are considered line drives. He had 68, 71 and 72 the previous three seasons.

The problem is he’s hitting the ball in the air more, but he isn’t getting the intended results. His average launch angle has increased in each of his four full MLB seasons:

YearLaunch Angle (degrees)LA Sweet-Spot%

Is this a 1-year aberration or a sign of things to come for the 29-year-old? That remains to be seen. The Rays are no fools when it comes to trading, so I’m not sure if the two sides would be able to come to an agreement. They did consummate the Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot for Ryan Pepiot and Jonny DeLuca deal over the winter, so there could be something here, if the Dodgers decide to take a chance on Arozarena rebounding. The fact he’d hit in the 6th-9th spot in the lineup would probably help take some pressure off of him, and he’s under team control through the 2026 season.


Bichette is a different situation. He hasn’t been fully healthy this season and is just off the injured list due to a calf injury. He’s hitting a career-worst .234/.285/.337 with a 78 wRC+ and .103 ISO. This is surprising coming from a guy who, in his age 23-25 seasons, was one of the best up-and-coming hitters in the game: .298/.339/.476 with a 125 wRC+ and a .178 ISO. He doesn’t walk as much as Arozarena, but he also doesn’t strike out nearly as much.

The two have been remarkably similar hitters when you dive into the numbers. Bichette’s Soft%, Med% and Hard% are all less than 0.8 percentage points apart. Both have suffered from fewer line drives, more fly balls and more infield fly balls — which has led to a BABIP 80 points lower than his career mark coming into the season.

Bichette’s exit velocity (90.8 MPH) for his career are nearly the same as Arozarena (90.5 MPH), but his expected numbers dwarf Randy’s by a lot. His xBA has always been in the Top 10% of MLB, with it peaking at the Top 2% last season. And while Arozarena’s .216 is in the Bottom 10%, Bichette’s .272 might as well be a Top 10% mark. Bichette’s xSLG and xwOBA has always outpaced Arozarena’s as well. He might be the better overall hitter, despite half the amount of walks.

Not only has his bat taken a step back, his glove has taken a small step back as well. He was never prime Ozzie Smith at shortstop, but his +4 defensive runs saved last season has turned into -4. He’s also -1 outs above average, up from -2 last season. All in all, he’s been a perfectly average defensive shortstop, just as Betts has been this season.

Injuries could account for both the offensive and defensive regression, so him getting healthy could help him bounce back.


Every sign would point to the Dodgers opting for Bichette over Arozarena in this situation. He’s younger (26), plays a more important defensive position (while Arozarena provides negative defensive value in left field) and would allow Betts to move back to a less stressful defensive position. Of course, Bichette would probably end up costing more in a trade despite his struggles because of everything listed above.

Short of a blockbuster with the White Sox (and seriosuly, if they’re shopping Crochet, the Dodgers should do what they can to acquire him), Bichette seems like a better option, even if Arozarena is a more realistic option. But the Dodgers are going to make a move before the deadline, because even with the big-time bats they have at the top, strengthening the bottom of the lineup would also strengthen the bench, and would also help keep them productive until Betts returns.

About Dustin Nosler

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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.