Dodgers: Three Way Trade Bolsters the Pen and Bench

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Scott Alexander
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Scott Alexander /

The Dodgers thawed the deep freeze that has been on the MLB off-season Thursday when they swung a three-team trade to bolster their bullpen.

The Dodgers beefed up their bullpen on Thursday by acquiring southpaw reliever Scott Anderson from the Kansas City Royals.  The Dodgers also picked up minor league infielder Jake Peter in the deal that sent Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan to the Chicago White Sox.  The Dodgers technically had Joakim Soria but shipped him to the White Sox in the three-way deal.  The Dodgers also sent minor leaguer Erick Mejia and Trevor Oaks to the Royals as part of the trade.

Andrew Friedman once again swung his three-way trade magic in order to acquire a much-needed asset for the Dodger bullpen.  Alexander posted a 2.48 ERA for the Royals this past season and showed his durability by appearing in 58 games.  He will be 29 years old this year and is a ground ball specialist.  He essentially replaces Tony Watson who has similar stuff and ground ball tendencies as Alexander, except Watson will be paid much more in 2018.  Alexander is not a free agent until after the 2022 season so he will not only be much cheaper than re-signing Watson would have been for this coming season, but for many seasons to come.

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Jake Peter who also comes to the Dodgers in the trade, is not known as a big hitter, but he did slug thirteen home runs combined this past season in Double-A and Triple-A.  He fits the versatility the Dodgers love as he can play all over the infield and outfield.  This is likely just a depth move to replace Charlie Culberson, but if he turns into the next Chris Taylor I doubt anyone would mind that.

The acquisition of Scott Alexander shuts the door on bringing back Tony Watson and helps the Dodgers improve their bullpen while staying under the luxury tax threshold.  Alexander will join Tony Cingrani to give the Dodgers a pair of lefties whom Dave Roberts can rely upon in the late innings of games.  It also boosts the Dodgers left-handed reliever depth since Avilan was part of the trade and Adam Liberatore has not been able to stay healthy since his breakout season a few years ago.  The Dodgers also lost Grant Dayton this off-season and Tony Watson is a free agent so a second dependable lefty was an absolute must.

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The Dodgers also signed Tom Koehler earlier this off-season so this could put the finishes touches on the Dodgers’ bullpen for 2018.  This could also allow the Dodgers to spend the money they saved by not signing a free-agent reliever on other areas of need.  Perhaps it could even set up a pursuit of Lorenzo Cain?  Regardless of what happens next, we can almost bet on Friedman making one more splash this winter.