It's June, and among other baseball considerations, that means it's time to keep one eye on the approaching July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. One contender/buyer expected to be active leading up to the deadline is the Dodgers. They're angling for their fifth consecutive NL West title, and while the roster is strong and deep, they have some needs. On that point, here's MLB.com's Jon Morosi:
The Dodgers entered this week's showdown series against the Nationals with the best team ERA in Major League Baseball. However, executives around the game expect Los Angeles to pursue pitching upgrades -- starters and relievers -- before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
So L.A.'s getting very good pitching thus far, but there's some downside in the rotation, mostly because of injury histories. Presently, Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir are on the disabled list. Elsewhere, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu each has an extensive ledger of past injuries, and Rich Hill is of course often afflicted by blisters. Kenta Maeda spent time on the DL last month with a hamstring injury. Even ace of aces Clayton Kershaw has dealt with back, hip, and shoulder problems in recent years. Yes, there's depth, but there's also wide-ranging potential for collapse. That, presumably, is why the Dodgers might be looking to add even more rotation depth before the calendar flips to August.
In the bullpen, needs are less pressing, but, as Morosi notes, the Dodgers might see a need for more help from the left side, especially if they indeed remain in line to make the playoffs. As a general matter, contenders are always looking for more bullpen help, and that's especially the case now that relievers are being leaned up more and more in postseason play.
The Dodgers have the kind of young talent to make a big swap happen, and they also of course have the resources to take on salary. Leading up to last year's deadline, they swung deals for Hill, Josh Reddick, Jesse Chavez, Josh Fields, and Bud Norris. Don't be surprised if L.A. is similarly active this time around. There's some organizational weariness when it comes to this run of early to semi-early playoff exits, and assuming the team's still in the postseason mix six weeks from now, bold steps might be taken to make this roster as strong and playoff-ready as possible.
As for arms possibly available in trade, it's a fluid list given that some teams don't know if they're buyers or sellers just yet. That said, notables like Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, Jason Vargas, Brad Hand, Tony Watson, Jeremy Hellickson, and Derek Holland might be up for grabs. If the Twins slip back, then Ervin Santana could be shopped. There will of course be many others, just as there will be a number of other teams in hot pursuit.