Dodgers: 3 trade deadline targets that would make LAD truly unstoppable
By Adam Weinrib
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the best team in baseball as pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
They’ll be the best team in baseball as the rest of the offense joins the fray, and they’ll be the best team in baseball when Opening Day arrives.
By the All-Star Break and the trade deadline? Yes, we expect the situation will be very similar.
But just because Dodgers fans are blessed right now to root for the sustainably good World Series champions doesn’t mean the roster can’t get better.
There aren’t “holes” in the roster, per se, but there are places where Los Angeles could go from “beast” to “juggernaut” — and if the opportunity arises, why wouldn’t Andrew Friedman and Co. continue to go for broke?
After all, LA did lose a few key pieces from the team that hoisted the Commish’s hunk of metal last October, and reunited (reluctantly?) with the aging Justin Turner, so it would be fair to expect a spot of regression from the Beard.
The starting rotation is merciless, featuring Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and David Price up top, with plenty of young depth behind them. But what if Kershaw’s contract year looks a little different? What if his body begins betraying him after finally accomplishing his career-long goal last October? What if the team trades Price for salary relief? What if Bauer doesn’t look like the same guy he did mid-pandemic?
The questions begin to pile up if you go looking for them. Like an actor entering the plastic surgery chair, an aggressive team can always convince itself to spend more and patch up the roster beyond the point of recognition.
The Dodgers are the best they’ve arguably ever been right now. But they could theoretically get even better at the deadline. Here’s how.
The Dodgers could get even better at the MLB Trade Deadline.
3. Joey Gallo
Want to replace Joc Pederson’s left-handed power in the outfield for 100+ games per year? The eternally-rebuilding Rangers are here to help, offering the final year and a half of Joey Gallo’s not-that-onerous escalating arbitration cost.
Gallo is an extremely valuable player in the modern game, providing 40-45-homer power from the left side, Gold Glove defense, the ability to slip into center field if need be, and excellent on-base skills. Durability and the propensity to swing and miss are his only real question marks, but ask yourself: is it really possible to swing and miss more often than Pederson? The Dodgers managed to make that work.
And durability is less of an issue when the rest of a team’s extremely strong roster is constructed around the idea that you don’t have to play every day.
Gallo seems destined to end up somewhere in exchange for a package that doesn’t jibe with his actual value, so why not start beating the drum to get him to Los Angeles?
This team is nearly perfect, but they’ll be relying on unproven talent to fill Pederson’s gap. Gallo’s a clone of the departed slugger who’s likely better — though we have no idea if he’ll make the postseason into Galloctober.
Other than that, it’s an excellent fit.