Lance Lynn/Mike Minor/José Leclerc
The Rangers have a dearth of pitching options the Dodgers could use. In the starting rotation, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn both had career resurgences in 2019, and Leclerc is one of the most desirable relievers in the American League.
For Minor’s case, he’s a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. He’s coming off a 200-strikeout season in which the lefty posted a 3.59 ERA in 32 starts, facing playoff-bound teams in nine of those. The 6’4 southpaw is going to be just 32 years old in 2020, but is going to be making only $9.5 million in 2020. He could be expensive in terms of prospects, but his low luxury tax hit could allow the Dodgers to add him and a major free agent like Rendon.
Lynn provides similar merits to Minor. His 246 strikeouts differentiate him from Minor, as his stuff is quite clearly more suited for the postseason and for missing bats. He finished 2019 with 33 starts of a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He will turn 33 during the 2020 season, and he is signed through 2021. Lynn is supposed to make $19 million across 2020 and 2021 combined, making him quite a bargain compared to the likes of Zach Wheeler or Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Both Lynn and Minor are likely to require solid pitching prospects and a set of MLB-ready talent, as well as some salary-eating incentives for whichever major leaguers come over from LA in the deal.
Leclerc fits the Dodgers more certainly. He’s a reliever with elite stuff with experience in the late innings out of the bullpen. He is owed $18 million over the next five seasons thanks to an extension; he won’t hit free agency until after the 2024 season ends. If the Dodgers could add Leclerc, they could groom him to be the closer of the future after Jansen and Kelly depart, as he’s only 25 years old.
The Rangers have the most talented options, but that doesn’t make them the only AL West trade partner option for the Dodgers.