The Dodgers are coming up on the one month mark until the July 31st trade deadline. It’s no secret what they will be searching for, but the problem is they may not have many options.
With almost one month until the single trade deadline this season, there is no secret what the Dodgers could be looking for. An elite reliever to bolster their bullpen and add to the other solid but not elite options that the Dodgers have for the later innings of postseason games. Joe Kelly was signed to provide that and while he is starting to come around, he still has a lot to prove.
The problem the Dodgers may face is that there may be only a few if any elite relievers available at the trade deadline. The Indians have Brad Hand but currently, hold the second wild-card spot in the American League. They have won eight of their last ten games and the chances of them selling are starting to look slim to none.
Outside of the Brad Hand, the one truly elite reliever that may be available for the Dodgers is Will Smith. The Giants are going to sell, no debate about it, but the problem could come down to cost. With the reliever market lacking elite options the cost to acquire Smith from a division rival may be more than the Dodgers are willing to pay.
Shane Greene and Ken Giles are the other top relievers on the market although neither of them is elite. Ken Giles pitched to an ERA of 4.65 last season despite not blowing a single save. He also has a spotty postseason record as he did everything he could to derail the Astros championship run in 2017. He lost two games and pitched to an ERA over eleven.
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Shane Greene has been electric this season and one of the best relievers in baseball. He has not pitched in a postseason game so there is no telling how he would handle pitching in that type of pressure. He has also alternated good and bad seasons, as last year he had an ERA of 5.12 and a WHIP over 1.30. Greene would be worth a gamble but he is not an elite reliever yet.
Felipe Vazquez of the Pittsburgh Pirates is one of the other elite relievers that could potentially be on the market but given that the Pirates are 5.5 games back in the NL Central, they may decide to add instead of sell at the trade deadline. The Padres have Kirby Yates but they have said they are not trading him and are only 2.5 games back of the second wild-card spot.
The Dodgers may need to get creative at the trade deadline as there are only two truly elite relievers that may be available and it could be one unless the Indians start losing games and make Brad Hand available.