Dodgers: 3 trades candidates that can be had before July 1
The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in third place in the NL West, which is annoying when you consider that they’re 11 games above .500 at 34-23.
While the Padres were always expected to present some tough competition following their aggressive offseason, nobody anticipated the Giants being this good. Even amid their scorching hot start, most analysts thought San Francisco would come crashing back down to earth.
Though that could still happen at some point over the next couple of months, the Giants’ elite pitching (they have the the sixth-lowest team ERA in MLB) suggests they’ll be a thorn in the Dodgers’ side for most, if not all, of what’s left of the regular season.
With the Padres not expected to go anywhere, we hope the Dodgers are thinking about being active at this year’s trade deadline. After all, this roster is far from perfect and they could fortify their chances of repeating as champs with a few marquee acquisitions.
That’s obviously easier said than done, but Los Angeles has more than enough resources to appease potential trade partners. Taking that into account, here are three candidates Andrew Friedman and Co. could get their hands on early if they want to get ahead of the July 31 deadline.
The Dodgers should target these three players before July 1.
3. Michael Fulmer
Dodgers fans couldn’t help but wince after Dustin May did the same in a May 1 start vs the Brewers after injuring his arm throwing a pitch. Though fans hoped for the best, the young right-hander’s reaction indicated he suffered a major injury and it was ultimately confirmed he needed Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow.
Given that May was pitching to a 2.74 ERA and logging 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings this season, his injury was a devastating blow to the Dodgers’ rotation. While David Price recently returned from an early-season IL stint, Los Angeles clearly views him as an opener for a bullpen game more than an actual starter at this point in his career.
With Tony Gonsolin nearing a return from injury, it’s worth speculating if the Dodgers might consider pairing him with Price every fifth day as a means not to overwork either hurler. Is that plan sustainable? Sure, if they pitch well, but fans would feel much more confident if LA had a legitimate starter to trot out there every fifth day.
The Dodgers’ need for another starting pitcher is evident.
That’s where Michael Fulmer enters the conversation. With Detroit still smack in the middle of a rebuild and sporting one of the worst records in MLB, it wouldn’t make sense for them to keep Fulmer, who just turned 28 and could be 31 by the time they’re ready to compete again.
Though Fulmer has an extensive injury history and is coming off a dreadful 2020 in which he logged a 8.78 ERA over 10 starts, this season has been a different story. Across 35 innings, the former first-round pick has a 3.34 ERA, 35 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP.
What makes Fulmer such a compelling target for the Dodgers is his versatility, as he can be utilized as starter or a long-inning reliever (he has four starts and four saves this year). At this point, what more could Los Angeles ask for from a trade acquisition? And if the pressure’s off him to perform, it could change a lot for the former All-Star.