To say Los Angeles desperately need relievers is an understatement. To say they need at least one more reliever to win the World Series is an absolute fact.
Granted, any championship contender at the moment could use more relievers. No team in their right mind would say, “Relief for our star pitcher? No thanks, we’re good.”
But this year, the Dodgers are especially primed for a postseason run, and it would just be the worst if their mess of a bullpen brought them down.
Currently, the team has a 3.69 bullpen ERA (eighth in the league), which isn’t terrible — but “not terrible” isn’t going to win any championships.
The Dodgers have used 17 different arms in relief, each of whom have had their turn in the revolving door in and out of the bullpen. Last season, Julio Urias showed just how important a shutdown reliever can be, but now that he’s taken the fourth rotation spot, the team needs other reliable closers. Kenley Jansen is enjoying a mild resurgence, and Blake Treinen is, well, there, but don’t count on the two of them to hold a lead without significant support. The Dodgers’ kryptonite this season has been closing out games: LA has blown 15 save opportunities, second only in the NL to the Miami Marlins, who have 16. Definitely not a good look going into the postseason.
During a time when bottom-feeder teams are having “Everything must go!” sales and relief pitchers are the hottest commodities, here are 3 bullpen arms that the Dodgers should trade for right now.
The Dodgers should trade for these 3 relievers.
3. Taylor Rogers
The Minnesota Twins are sitting dead last in the AL Central, and you can bet they’ll want to sell the nuts and bolts of their rotation and bullpen this year. Taylor Rogers is one of the most precious pieces of their relief team, and though he’ll come at a hefty price, he could be a very welcome addition for Los Angeles.
Picked by the Twins in the 11th round out of Kentucky in the 2012 MLB draft, Rogers signed with Minnesota for just $100,000. But while he mostly flies under the radar, Rogers isn’t a fringe major league starter, nor is he just a decent or average closer. He’s proven to be a bullpen ace who could swing the tides of nail-biting late-inning games. Rogers is posting the best strikeout rate of his career as well as the lowest walk totals during his career with the Twins so far. He’s a bona fide lefty reliever who could pair well with Victor Gonzalez, and he’s more than used to closing out games for Minnesota. He’ll do just fine for Los Angeles.
With a 2.63 ERA this season through 26 games, Rogers has grown to be a top-notch late-inning lefty who can plug the Dodgers’ leaky boat of a bullpen. In a season plagued by injuries, the Dodgers will need Rogers’ Elmer’s-glue durability: Rogers has made anywhere from 57 to 72 appearances in each of his last four full seasons. He’s Mr. Dependability in a sea of expendables, and the Dodgers could use his well-oiled arm in any inning, beginning, middle, or end.