The Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to make their big splash this offseason, but they’ve made a number of moves to bolster their chances at repeating as champions in 2021, despite the fact that National League has drastically improved.
But bullpen additions won’t be enough. Plus, LA needs to figure out if Justin Turner or somebody else will be playing third base next season. That’s still a very big problem.
If the Dodgers wanted to spice things up, however, making a juggernaut move to improve their starting rotation, which is arguably the most important aspect of any roster, could be in their best interest based on the latest rumors.
If we are to believe the buzz surrounding the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees talking about a Luis Castillo trade, then president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman needs to pick up the phone and throw the Dodgers’ hat in the ring.
OK, so the Dodgers don’t have a young, controllable outfielder like Clint Frazier to offer, but their farm system is superior to the Yankees’. And there’s no doubt LA has better “key pieces” to dangle than Miguel Andújar, who lost his starting job and was demoted in 2020.
At the very least, perhaps they can enter the talks, intrigue the Reds, and drive up the asking price for the Yankees, who figure to be the Dodgers’ top World Series competition if the status quo remains and New York continues to make additions.
We know there are more moves on the way for the Yankees because the 40-man roster is full and they need to make room for DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber, so the Dodgers would have to move relatively quickly if they feel this is worth it.
We’ve pitched a Castillo trade package before, and if the Reds want an MLB-ready pitcher the Dodgers have much more promising options than Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia. Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin could easily change the complexion of the talks. And what about Keibert Ruiz, one of the best prospects in all of baseball?
The idea of having Castillo and Walker Buehler atop the Dodgers rotation for years to come should really be a more prominent scenario to consider. Even though it won’t be cheap, if Friedman can best the Yankees’ offer without breaking a sweat or simply by trading from a surplus, it just feels like a championship move that needs to be made.