The Los Angeles Dodgers are at somewhat of a disadvantage heading into this year’s trade deadline.
Their farm system is the weakest it’s been in years (though it’s still very good) and the division-rival Giants and Padres are among the best teams in MLB.
They’ll also be buying to further their playoff push.
There are also a number of other relatively surprising buyers. The Mets, Braves, Phillies, Brewers, Red Sox, Rays, Yankees, White Sox, Astros, Athletics, Mariners and Angels will more than likely be in the mix.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they need to ensure they get rotation and bullpen help at the deadline, which is a primary need for a number of those previously mentioned contenders. But Andrew Friedman is no stranger to being aggressive.
Here’s what the Dodgers will have to offer if they want to land Jose Berrios.
According to previous reports, specifically from Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required), the Twins want one MLB player and two top-100 prospects. That’s a steep ask for a guy who will be a free agent after 2022 and owns a career 4.08 ERA and 4.01 FIP.
But Berrios does have No. 2-like potential if put in the right scenario. He’ll also cost fewer than $3 million if acquired by the end of the week and will have his final year of arbitration eligibility remaining when the offseason rolls around (~$10 million for 2022?).
The good news is the Dodgers have the capital to get this done. And they can perhaps bring it down to two players given their current situation. Why not offer Dustin May and No. 2 prospect catcher Keibert Ruiz and call it a day?
The Twins aren’t contending this year and you can bet the same goes for next year since they’re seemingly unloading assets right now. May, who underwent Tommy John surgery after suffering an elbow injury in early May, should be ready to go by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, Ruiz has all the potential to become a franchise-caliber catcher … and bats from the left side of the plate.
If another team out-bids the Dodgers with that offer, then so be it. The Twins can drive a hard bargain, but Berrios reportedly won’t give Minnesota a discount on his next contract, so their hand is forced. Trade him now and get maximum value as opposed to waiting and watching his stock likely lose steam.
As for the Dodgers, they can cope with the loss of May since their premier title window is right now. With the potential loss of Ruiz, LA has Diego Cartaya still waiting in the wings, as well as Will Smith around for a while and Austin Barnes here through 2022.
May would give the Twins an arm to build around in the rotation once he recovers while Ruiz’s imminent arrival to the show could help usher in a new era of sluggers for the struggling AL Central club.
Hard to turn down that deal if you’re looking to 2022 and beyond, right?