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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a trade that will send shortstop Amed Rosario to the Dodgers in exchange for veteran right-hander Noah Syndergaard and cash, the teams announced Wednesday.

Cleveland remains in the AL Central race, but they're below .500, and the recent decision to move ace Shane Bieber to the 60-day injured list may have nudged them toward the "soft seller" side of the deadline. As for the Dodgers, they've now addressed their lack of depth at the shortstop position. 

Rosario, 27, has slashed .265/.306/.369 (89 OPS+) with three home runs and nine stolen bases in 94 games for Cleveland this season. For his career, he's put up an OPS+ of 95 across parts of seven MLB seasons, four of which came with the Mets. Rosario for the balance of his career has been an average-ish fielder at the position, but this season Statcast ranks him as one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball. 

The Dodgers were left with an uncertain shortstop situation after the promising young Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending knee injury during spring training. Miguel Rojas when healthy has been the primary shortstop, but he's struggled to produce with a .221/.279/.268 slash line for the year. Superstar Mookie Betts has also seen time at short for the Dodgers in 2023. While Rosario's defensive situation bears monitoring, he figures to be an upgrade at the plate over what Rojas has given the Dodgers this season. Rosario is slated for free agency this coming winter. 

The Dodgers also recently acquired Enrique Hernández from the Red Sox to give them an additional infield option. 

The Dodgers presently stand at 58-43 on the year, and they hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the Giants and a four-game lead over the Diamondbacks in the National League West. Los Angeles is aiming for its 11th consecutive trip to the playoffs.  

On the Cleveland side of things, Syndergaard gives them an arm to add to the banged-up rotation, if not a particularly promising one. Through 12 starts with the Dodgers this season, the 30-year-old right-hander has struggled to a 7.16 ERA and the lowest strikeout rate of his career. He's owed the balance of a $13 million salary and is again eligible for free agency this coming offseason. In a twist, he and Rosario overlapped from 2017-20.

Now to grade the trade. 

Dodgers: B+

While Rosario's glove is as noted a bit of question mark at present, there's no doubt he upgrades the shortstop situation for L.A. As well, he's been over the course of his career a highly productive hitter against left-handed pitching, and the Dodgers' offense this season has endured some struggles against lefties. Rosario probably shouldn't play too much against right-handers, but he can be quite situationally effective and helps give manager Dave Roberts some of that hallmark Dodger roster depth that may have been a bit lacking for much of this season. On top of all that, the Dodgers didn't give up much in order to add Rosario to the fold. 

Guardians: C

It's certainly defensible to get rid of Rosario given that doing so clears a path for Cleveland's rather numerous infield prospects, and they do indeed need innings in the rotation in light of all those injured starting pitchers. That said, they took the more expensive player (but they are getting cash) who this season has also been the inferior player. Yes, the Guardians are very good at unlocking pitchers, but so are the Dodgers. That makes it hard to imagine they'll be able to level up Syndergaard right away or even at all. Let's also note that Syndergaard has been on the IL with a blister issue since early June.