Dodgers: Kyle Barraclough is the Perfect Reliever Trade Target
The Dodgers bullpen has been improving as the season progresses but they are still lacking a dominant reliever to set up Kenley Jansen. Kyle Barraclough of the Miami Marlins is the perfect trade target to bolster the Dodgers pen.
The Dodgers have started to look like the defending National League champions ever since the calendar turned to June. One of the reasons for the Dodgers rapid rise has been that the bullpen has started to come together and pitch much better. It seems like the turning point was the doubleheader in Washington. Rich Hill left the game without recording a single out and the bullpen combined to pitch nine strong innings.
There is one glaring weakness that the Dodger bullpen still has and that is the lack of a dominant eighth-inning setup man. Josh Fields can be dominant at times and has pitched very well this season but the Dodgers bullpen would be even stronger if Fields was the seventh inning reliever and then the Dodgers had another dominant setup man to follow him and bridge the gap to Kenley Jansen.
The perfect relieve that the Dodgers should target is Kyle Barraclough of the Miami Marlins. This season Barraclough has been dominant posting a 1.15 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. Even more impressive is that Kyle Barraclough has allowed a .089 opponent’s batting average. In 31 plus innings, Barraclough has allowed just nine hits. Lefties hit .100 against Barraclough and right-handed hitters have hit just .078.
What makes Barraclough the perfect fit is that he pitches for a rebuilding team in the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are going to ask for fewer prospects than the division rival Padres would ask for in return for Brad Hand or one of their top relievers. The Marlins also have asked for lower level prospects in their most recent trades under Derek Jeter’s regime.
For Christian Yelich the Marlins received four prospects and three of them were in Double-A or Single-A. The Marins received two prospects for Giancarlo Stanton and neither prospect was above Double-A. The Dodgers farm system is deep enough where they could send the Marlins two to three solid lower level prospects without touching their top prospects like Alex Verdugo or Keibert Ruiz.
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Other factors that make Barraclough a perfect trade fit are his salary and years of control that remain. This season Barraclough is making only 1.1 million which makes him an absolute bargain and would allow the Dodgers to have money remaining to add more trade pieces and stay under the luxury tax threshold. Barraclough has three more seasons of control remaining and will not be a free-agent until after the 2021 season which would make him worth the prospects that the Dodgers would give up.
The Dodgers are still awaiting the return of Tom Koehler, but he does not have a long track record of success as a reliever so he is not worth putting all the eggs in the basket for. If Koehler does end up being a success story in the Dodger bullpen that is gravy but he cannot be relied upon to save the bullpen.
Then there is the fact that Kenley Jansen has shown red flags at times this season. In April, Jansen’s velocity was around 89-90 miles per hour and many people suspected he was pitching injured. Last night, Jansen once again was sitting at 90 miles per hour and he had to escape trouble in the ninth inning.
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With a reliever like Kyle Barraclough, the Dodgers could rest Jansen if needed and still have a dominant reliever to end the game. Barraclough would also provide insurance if Jansen were to go down at some point this season. The way that the Dodgers season has gone injury-wise, it’s worth having insurance and Kyle Barraclough would provide just that. The Dodgers should target Barraclough to shore up the bullpen and give the Dodgers three solid relievers to end the game in Fields, Barraclough, and Jansen.