Dodgers: After Acquiring Manny Machado, Relief Must be Pursued
The Dodgers front office just acquired the only true superstar available on this year’s trade market. Despite that, Manny Machado is a bit of a luxury for the Dodgers and wasn’t what the club truly needed.
The Dodgers certainly boosted their chances of making it back to the World Series by acquiring Manny Machado who was the only superstar on this July’s trading block. There is no doubt that Machado can provide a spark to the Dodgers offense that began to slump once again as the All-Star break approached. Still, the Dodgers one true need this July is to bolster their mediocre bullpen.
The Dodgers bullpen currently ranks 13th in MLB, with a 3.80 ERA and they rank 11th in baseball in opponent’s average. The bullpen has faltered a bit too much for the Dodgers this season as the bullpen has the fourth most losses in MLB with 21 losses. Only the Mets, Rays, and Tigers have more losses from their bullpen. Even more alarming for the Dodgers is that almost every other NL contender has a better bullpen. The Brewers, Nationals, Cubs, and Diamondbacks all have a better bullpen than the Dodgers statistically.
With the new age of baseball where starting pitchers only go five to six innings of games, the value of a strong bullpen has become even more important as the years go on. Just take a look at what relievers are now making in free agency, the Rockies last winter spent over 100 million dollars on their bullpen. While it’s certainly not smart to build a bullpen through free agency, it’s just an example of how relievers are valued in today’s game.
For the Dodgers, they face a lot of uncertainty in the bullpen that must be sorted out over the next eleven days. Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani, and Pedro Baez are all on the disabled list. Pedro Baez appears the closest to returning but it is Cingrani and Fields who were key members of the Dodger bullpen last season. If Fields and Cingrani appear to be out for an extended amount of time, then adding more relievers is a must if the Dodgers want to make it out of the National League again.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
The Dodgers also have an abundance of starting pitching with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias due back before the month of September. The Dodgers could try out some starting pitchers in the bullpen like they have with Rich Hill, but they don’t have much time to evaluate role changes with less than two weeks left until the trade deadline and some starters not due back before then.
The relief market ceiling was set on Thursday when the Indians acquired Brad Hand and Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres. The Padres were able to score the number fifteen prospect in all of baseball for two relievers with years of control left. If the Dodgers want to acquire a top-tier reliever with years of control left such as Kyle Barraclough, the Dodgers are going to need to part with an enticing package like Alex Verdugo and Yadier Alvarez.
The front office of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi love to get creative when it comes to relievers, Dylan Floro, for example, was not on anyone’s radar but the front office acquired him and his stuff has looked filthy. If the front office wants to stay under the luxury tax and acquire a reliever worth using in a critical October jam, then they are going to need to get creative with salaries and part with a prospect or two. Now that Bellinger is going to get more outfield time, there’s a chance they could part with an outfielder like Joc Pederson.
Next: Dodgers went from worst to first in the opening half of the season
The Dodgers boosted their title chances by acquiring Manny Machado but they cannot stop there. If this club truly wants to make another World Series run they need a shutdown eighth-inning reliever to slide guys like Daniel Hudson and Scott Alexander into the middle inning roles. If the front office is unable to acquire a solid setup man before the deadline then you won’t have to worry about losing game seven of the World Series again because the Dodgers will not even make it there.