The Dodgers are going to pursue relievers prior to the trade deadline. Felipe Vazquez remains the biggest reliever trade target for LA.
In the last installment of our trade target series, we covered an underrated Dodgers’ reliever target in Kyle Crick. In this trade target profile, the team remains the same, but the prize is much bigger as it is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ stud closer, Felipe Vazquez. While there is no guarantee Vazquez becomes available, the Pirates are sure to listen if the Dodgers offer a top prospect like Keibert Ruiz.
Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington has downplayed a potential Vazquez trade but relievers tend to be very volatile players. The Miami Marlins had a couple of relievers they asked the moon for and after they failed to trade them during the season their trade value decreased significantly after the trade deadline. While Felipe Vazquez is unlikely to regress the possibility always exists with relievers.
Out of all the potential trade targets the Dodgers could pursue for bullpen relief, Vazquez is the best reliever available. The price will not be low as he comes with four more years of control via team options. Each year comes with a very reasonable price for a top-shelf reliever which makes him even more appealing to the Dodgers.
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In addition to helping shore up the Dodgers’ left-handed relief options, Felipe Vazquez is a flame thrower who is effective against both sides of the plate. This season in a limited sample size, left-handed hitters are having success against Vazquez hitting .280 but over the last three seasons combined, they are hitting just .185.
When it comes to save opportunities, Vazquez is 59-69 over the last three seasons and would give Dave Roberts an easy closer fill in when Kenley Jansen is unavailable to pitch. Felipe should also help limit Kenley Jansen’s postseason save opportunities to a single inning as he has been ineffective going more than one inning.
Outside of the Giants’ Will Smith, Felipe Vazquez is the best reliever potentially available and also the top left-handed reliever available. Although the price will be steep, the Dodgers could avoid sending talented prospects to the Giants and have the potential closer after Kenley Jansen by acquiring Felipe Vazquez.
Andrew Friedman has made a career of finding low cost under the radar type relievers but it’s time for the Dodgers to go after a big fish, and that is exactly what Felipe Vazquez is. The Dodgers’ bullpen needs help and adding a highly talented reliever like Vazquez would solidify the Dodgers as the favorites to win the World Series.