The Dodgers have been known to make surprise moves at the July trade deadline under the watch of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi and this year’s deadline was no different.
The Dodgers surprised many when they pulled off a trade for Manny Machado earlier this month. It turns out that wasn’t the only surprise move the Dodgers would make as the club acquired Brian Dozier on Tuesday.
The Dodgers also made an addition to their bullpen as they acquired John Axford from the Toronto Blue Jays. Although Axford is not the big name reliever many wanted, he should provide a boost to the Dodgers’ bullpen. Here is a breakdown of each of the Dodgers’ July trades.
Dodgers trade Devin Smeltzer, Luke Raley, and Logan Forsythe for Brian Dozier
The Dodgers provided another boost to their offense on Tuesday as they added Brian Dozier after adding Manny Machado earlier this season. Dozier is only batting .224 this season but he does have sixteen home runs on the season. Dozier will help the Dodgers lineup hit lefties which has suddenly become an issue again.
For his career, Dozier has a .277 batting average against lefties and an OPS of .872 compared to .737 against right-handed hitters. Dozier will be a big upgrade offensively on Logan Forsythe and the Dodgers got him at the right time as Dozier has 35 home runs in August for his career, which is the most of any month. Raley is the main prospect the Dodgers gave up as he was ranked 19th in the Dodgers’ system but the Dodgers have plenty of 1B/OF prospects so Raley was expendable.
Dodgers trade Corey Copping for John Axford
The Dodgers front office nerds are at it again as they acquired John Axford to help shut down left-handed hitters out of the bullpen. Despite being a right-handed pitcher, Axford has held lefties to a .147 batting average this season, compared to a .283 average to righties. Axford is getting up there in age at 35 years old but he still averages 95 mph on his fastball. Axford gives the Dodgers another ground ball veteran reliever to try out for the late innings.
Corey Copping was the prospect the Dodgers traded. This season Copping posted a 2.52 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A along with a solid 9.9 K/9IP. Copping did struggle with walks as he averaged just over four walks per nine innings in the minors this season. Copping was not on the Dodgers top 30 prospects list.
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Dodgers trade Yusniel Diaz, Zach Pop, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon, and Breyvic Valera for Manny Machado
This was the biggest move the Dodgers made prior to the trade deadline as they acquired a top ten hitter in all of baseball. Machado essentially replaced Corey Seager’s bat in the lineup and he provides third insurance when Justin Turner is hurt or needs a day off. Machado is the best player that got dealt at this season’s trade deadline.
The package that went to Baltimore included the Dodgers’ fourth-ranked prospect in Yusniel Diaz. All the other prospects given up by the Dodgers were ranked in the mid-twenties of the Dodgers’ system. Bannon showed pop at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Zach Pop was having quite the season with the Dodgers. Diaz is the big fish the Orioles acquired but with Alex Verdugo unable to secure playing time, it was tough to see where Diaz could fit in.
Final Grade: Overall the Dodgers trade deadline was a successful one but one that still leaves questions in the bullpen. Hopefully, a starter or two are ready to contribute out of the bullpen when everyone in the rotation is healthy and ready. For the deadline, Friedman and Co. deserve a B- for upgrading the offense tremendously but missing out on the high impact reliever that the bullpen needs.