Dodgers address outfield issues in trade with Mets

If you know Andrew Friedman by now, you know he’s not scared to make trades at any point prior to the deadline. That’s why the Los Angeles Dodgers are always prepared from a depth perspective.

Speaking of which, they’ve ran into that exact issue with their outfield.

Mookie Betts is dealing with a hip injury. Cody Bellinger is struggling mightily.

Chris Taylor’s needed more in the infield because of the injuries to Corey Seager and Gavin Lux. It’s not necessarily what we expected in mid-July when Opening Day arrived.

As a result, with Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry and Zach Reks as the leftover options, Friedman decided to go out and fortify that area of the roster by striking a deal with the New York Mets.

The Dodgers have acquired outfielder Billy McKinney in exchange for minor leaguer Carlos RIncon and designated pitcher Jake Reed for assignment.

The Dodgers traded for outfielder Billy McKinney in a deal with the Mets.

McKinney is a lefty bat who’s been nothing special offensively (.213 average and .697 OPS), but he does have eight homers and 20 RBI in just 183 at-bats. More positively, on the defensive end, he’s been good for 3 Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.3 UZR in 361.2 innings in the outfield (all three positions). He’s also logged some time at first base.

The Mets designated the 26-year-old for assignment over the weekend after they had a number of guys return from injury. New York had acquired him earlier in the season in a deal with the Brewers to address their shortage of players.

Also, the Dodgers are dealing with (likely) shorter-term injuries to Justin Turner and Max Muncy (who is also expecting the birth of a child in the coming days), so there will be plenty of reps to fill in the immediate future.

Whether McKinney has a months-long stint with this team remains to be seen, but the opportunity will surely be there from the jump once he arrives in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers and manager Dave Roberts have found success picking up players off the scrap heap and plugging them in where needed. McKinney’s profile, though not exactly otherworldly, definitely lends to the idea he could be a contributor on a team full of star players.