Dodgers: 3 NL West players LAD should target at MLB trade deadline

Kristen Wong
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 10: David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a fielders choice single against the Miami Marlins scoring teammate Pavin Smith #26 during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 10: David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a fielders choice single against the Miami Marlins scoring teammate Pavin Smith #26 during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Dodgers asking teams to trade with them is a bit like the richest player in Monopoly who also owns the most expensive blocks AND hotels on those blocks asking other players to do business with them. C’mon, I’ll give you $500 and my discarded, low-value properties for Reading Railroad. Pretty pretty please?

With so many trade candidates for 2021 sitting in NL West, specifically the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers will have to put on their best suit and prepare their best trade chips to convince one or both of those teams to give them players who would strengthen their roster.

There are a couple ways they could do that. One persuasive technique (and this traces all the way back to the Greeks, pre-baseball) lies in ethos, or using character and ethics to persuade. We didn’t steal signs. We’re a decent organization. We give back to the people of LA. This one probably won’t get you very far.

The second technique is pathos, or using passions and emotions to persuade. Please trade with us, our roster has suffered tremendously since we last won the World Series and…..yeah, this “sob” story won’t cut it either.

The last technique is logos, using pure logic and reasoning. The odds of Arizona or Colorado doing business with the defending World Series champions who also happen to be in their league is low. Very, very low. Depending on what LA gives them in return, though, (Prospects? Money?) they might still be willing to help their division rivals.

It takes a certain mixture of last-gasp desperation, financial trouble, and unashamed pot-stirring to trade a player to a rival team. The Diamondbacks’ and Rockies’ front offices tick some of these boxes, but it’ll be up to LA to seal the deal. If the Dodgers can somehow concoct a creative trade package that looks appealing enough to, as the saying goes, “help a brother out,” they can prime themselves for another deep postseason run.

These are 3 NL West players who the Dodgers could nab at the trade deadline.

3. Madison Bumgarner

It’s no secret that the Dodgers have one of the most dazzling pitching staffs in all of baseball. Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias will likely round out the team’s four-man rotation once playoff baseball comes around. If those guys are on your team, you have to feel good about your World Series chances. These are the aces of aces.

Dustin May was the Dodgers’ fifth rotation arm to start the season, but he’s out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last month.

Madison Bumgarner could be the perfect replacement for May, and Arizona might be willing to part with him only because he has, er, grievously underperformed.

After signing the veteran to a five-year, $85 million deal prior to the 2020 season, the Diamondbacks haven’t seen the best – or even just, average or good pitching numbers – from Mad Bum. He’s struggled to a 5.73 ERA and 4.44 FIP through 12 starts this season, and was worse last year, posting a 6.48 ERA and 7.18 FIP over nine starts. In his two seasons with Arizona, Bumgarner’s 6.04 ERA is one of the worst in the entire league.

Those numbers sure make you clap your hands together and say, “Let’s trade for this guy,” don’t they? The 31-year-old lefty won’t be returning to his award-winning Giants form anytime soon, and he’s definitely not worth how much Arizona paid for him, but his stats of late show promise. In his final two starts last season, he didn’t allow a run in ten innings pitched and struck out 11 while walking only one batter. Bumgarner even recorded a seven inning (unofficial) no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves, and his recent resurgence has helped stabilize a Diamondbacks rotation that lost stud Zac Gallen a few weeks ago. According to Statcast, he’s added over two mph to his fastball (90.8 mph in 2021; 88.4 mph in 2020) and hitters are hitting only .182 against it this season.

Bumgarner had been battling shoulder and back injuries for most of the 2020 season, and now that he’s healthy again, he’s a starting pitcher that LA could use this postseason. So he’s had a rough couple of years with Arizona. He can change his fate and still help out one of the winning-est pitching staffs in baseball right now…as long as they can make the money work somewhat.

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