Though the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t had any recent trade dealings with the NL West rivals, the 2022 season presents a unique situation.
Teams were deprived of an extended free agency period and active trade market to fine-tune their rosters, and it’s not out of the question to wonder if the mad rush after the lockout will encourage others to explore what’s possibly to offer within the division.
Mind you, it’s likely all of the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies do not want to make a deal with the behemoth Dodgers, who have dominated the division and NL for the better part of a decade.
Then again, if those teams can offload undesired salary or players that are no longer a fit, why wouldn’t they consider the Dodgers as a potential trade partner? LA has the financial power to add more money than most and their roster is full of holes that could be filled by almost anyone of relative competence.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is one of the most active figures on the trade market, so while these are unlikely, don’t be shocked if he manages to pull off a deal for one of these four guys.
1 trade the Dodgers can make with each NL West rival after the lockout
4. Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard
Unless the Rockies stun the world with a post-lockout spending spree, they won’t be contending in 2022 … though they do have some intriguing building blocks such as German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Ryan McMahon.
But do they really want to use nearly $5 million of their payroll on reliever Daniel Bard? Enter the Dodgers, who need bullpen help and likely won’t be bringing back Joe Kelly after rejecting his 2022 team option.
Bard, 37, is due $4.8 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. After not appearing in an MLB game since 2013, the right-hander burst onto the scene during the shortened 2020 and finished with a 3.65 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 6 saves and 27 strikeouts in 23 games (24.2 innings). However, things didn’t go so well in 2021…
He came crashing back down to earth, somehow compiling a 7-8 record with a 5.21 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 20 saves and 80 strikeouts in 67 games (65.2 innings). Perhaps paying $4.8 million for a back-end bullpen arm isn’t something the Rockies view as onerous, but if they can get a top-20 prospect in return and shed that money, isn’t that a win? Bullpen arms are among the cheapest assets in the game and will be easy to find in free agency, via trade or in the minors.
What’s in it for the Dodgers? Bard actually sported a 4.28 FIP in 2021, indicating that his 5.21 ERA wasn’t as disastrous as it looked. The right-hander has also averaged over 97 MPH on his fastball the last two seasons and can hit triple digits. In the Dodgers’ role-less bullpen, he’d fit right in, and we’re sure they’ll figure out a way to maximize his effectiveness by emphasizing one of his other pitches.