The Los Angeles Dodgers are still the best team in baseball and they still have a stranglehold over the NL West.
There’s no question about it.
Juuuust a bit.
Aside from the Dodgers, the Pads probably have baseball next best rotation. They have a comparable lineup in terms of depth from top to bottom.
The only deficiency in San Diego was the bullpen, but that could change in short order.
According to the latest rumors, general manager AJ Preller is making a play for Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader. That would really change everything.
Do the Dodgers have to worry about the Padres getting Josh Hader?
It’s unclear if Hader is the actual target for the next big move, but that’s what many are speculating. And it makes perfect sense after the Padres brought in Mark Melancon recently to help supplement a weak back end of their bullpen.
Throwing Hader into the mix would give San Diego a fairly effective unit that also features Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagan and Matt Strahm. It’s certainly nothing ground breaking, but getting a bonafide closer and using those guys in specific roles would change the entire complexion of the Pads ‘pen.
And not to come down on the Dodgers, but Hader, at this point, is worlds better than any reliever on the Dodgers’ staff. We know manager Dave Roberts doesn’t employ concrete roles for his relievers, but the lack of structure is arguably the only concern for LA because Kenley Jansen has fallen off a cliff, Joe Kelly has been shaky at best, Corey Knebel is working on a bounce-back year, and Brusdar Graterol still has a lot to prove despite looking promising.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, Blake Treinen feels like the most reliable option for the Dodgers at the moment since we don’t know how Dustin May or Julio Urias will be utilized in 2021.
So why be concerned if the Pads get their hands on Hader? Because then they’ll have the next four or so months to see where they’re at before making another big splash at the trade deadline. After that, they could really become a big problem for the Dodgers.