The Los Angeles Dodgers had a golden opportunity to leapfrog San Francisco in the division standings this week, and they squandered it by dropping three of four to their rivals.
In pole position to salvage a series split, the Dodgers capitulated in the ninth, as closer Kenley Jansen allowed four runs in the final frame to secure a 5-3 win for the Giants.
The series loss just further confirmed that the NL West is a crap shoot, and either one of the Dodgers, Giants or Padres could sit at the summit by season’s end.
Given that all three teams are at least 15 games above .500 and an apparent lock to make the playoffs, they’ll all be looking to make a big splash at the trade deadline. Taking that into account, let’s speculate which potential moves could send the Dodgers into panic mode.
These three rival trade scenarios would be terrible for the Dodgers.
3. Brewers acquire Ian Kennedy
Widely projected to be one of the most competitive divisions in MLB, the NL Central has been a dumpster fire that’s seen the Brewers rise from the ashes and establish a sizable 6.5-game lead with the Reds, Cardinals and Cubs all hanging around the .500 mark.
While the Brewers should be in the market for a bat to inject some life into their middle-of-the-road offense, they, like most contenders, will be on the prowl for bullpen help. A name Dodgers fans should be wary of is Ian Kennedy, who’d be a perfect complement to closer Josh Hader.
If you haven’t heard much about Kennedy this season, that’s likely because he plays for the Rangers, who own one of MLB’s worst records. However, the 36-year-old is in the midst of arguably his best season, posting a 2.59 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and 15 saves in 31 appearances.
With star reliever Devin Williams hitting the 10-day injured list with what the Brewers are describing as right elbow discomfort, Kennedy would be a dream acquisition. For the Dodgers, who could match up with Milwaukee in October, it would be a worst-case scenario.
When healthy, the Brewers’ bullpen is one of the best in the game. Outside of Hader, JP Feyereisen, Brent Suter and Brad Boxberger have a combined 3.17 ERA. If Milwaukee added Kennedy and maybe a healthy Williams to that group, they’d be a tough out in the playoffs.
Even without Williams, no team would want to face that bullpen in October.