3 trade calls Dodgers should make the day MLB Lockout ends
By Adam Weinrib
1. Oakland A’s
Who you want? The Oakland A’s are willing to talk about him, and the Dodgers should be banging down this door first before things get too crowded.
The Yankees and Braves are going to want to discuss Matt Olson. The Phillies want in on Ramon Laureano. Elvis Andrus is available. Three-fifths of the rotation should be up for grabs. The manager’s already in San Diego. Our pets’ heads are falling off.
The Dodgers should look, first and foremost, for the starting pitcher of their choice.
Is it Sean Manaea, who could slide into Kershaw’s role as the rotation’s second lefty after an 11-10, 3.91 ERA season with 194 strikeouts in 179.1 innings pitched? Likely not; his secondary metrics (fastball spin, hard-hit rate) aren’t terribly impressive.
Maybe the Dodgers prefer a bulldog like Chris Bassitt, whose stuff underwhelms, but who consistently gets the job done in the style of Kyle Hendricks (well, not quite, but still)?
As we see it, Frankie Montas has to be the leader in the clubhouse, even if Bassitt is more of a leader in his current clubhouse.
Montas, 28 years old, finished 2021 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA and 207 whiffs in 187 innings pitched. He’s also got the exact gap that the Dodgers’ analytics people love: elite fastball spin (75th percentile last year) matched with underwhelming hard-hit rates (23rd percentile). Much like Andrew Heaney, there’s something left to be unlocked here, and the Dodgers should be sprinting to the front of the line to do it.
He’s got two years of control attached, and much higher upside (flat-out better stuff!) than Heaney. The Dodgers have a shot at a new No. 2 here — as long as they hurry.