According to one Los Angeles Dodgers insider, the team’s 2022 trade deadline will look exactly like the 2021-22 offseason: full of less-than-impressive names whose performances all go on to surpass expectations/frustrate those who don’t enjoy the Dodgers thriving.
In other words, LA is more likely to acquire Tyler Anderson 2.0 than they are to break the bank for Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas — but, either way, they’ll probably dip into the starting pitching market.
According to Fabian Ardaya’s mailbag this week with The Athletic, the Dodgers likely won’t choose between acquiring a starting pitcher and a big bat at this year’s deadline, though they might not zoom to the top of the food chain for either need.
Example starters named by Ardaya include Jose Quintana of the Pirates, as well as Chad Kuhl of the Rockies and Zach Davies of the Diamondbacks.
Considering only one of those players comes from outside the division, one target seems more reasonable than the others.
Dodgers’ 2022 trade deadline targets: starting pitcher, big bat?
According to Ardaya (subscription required):
"“This is a cop-out, but I think the Dodgers pursue both. They’re at least a starter short of where they’d like to be with Walker Buehler’s injury. …José Quintana, for one, is off to a solid start in Pittsburgh and is a rental like Anderson was."
Buehler’s injury muddies the waters, and the Dodgers are certainly excited about the second-half possibilities that Dustin May’s return will provide, but … there were always far too many things up in the air for LA to stand pat at the deadline, even before their ace went down. After dealing with Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw injuries in the first half, too, the Dodgers’ depth has already been bare bones for a significant chunk of the season. They’d prefer not to be tested again.
As for the “big bat” also in their sights? The Dodgers would love to stop patching the outfield together with Trayce Thompson-type acquisitions (though they’re also moving top prospect Miguel Vargas around those parts, too). Ardaya suggests Tommy Pham of the Reds, which could make for an interesting rivalry with Joc Pederson’s fantasy football shirt-wearing Giants.
If that’s the highest pedigree offensive target the Dodgers are looking at, though, it’s likely they won’t break the bank trying to supplement their offense, either. The names Ardaya mentioned here would provide versatility, but wouldn’t cost as much as Ian Happ or Willson Contreras.
As it stands, LA’s once again the NL front-runner, and they still have the infrastructure to quickly unlock any acquisition targets with something below the surface. Expect two or three moves, but nothing earth-shattering.