The Los Angeles Dodgers have created an elite rotation out of a number of supplemental pieces in 2022, thriving despite losing Walker Buehler for most of, if not all, of the season. Add in some Clayton Kershaw concerns, Andrew Heaney’s disappearing act, and Max Scherzer’s departure to New York, and there are plenty of remaining issues that won’t be solved by Dustin May’s second-half return.
Thank goodness for Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin, but their breakouts won’t prevent the Dodgers from pursuing upper-echelon arms at the deadline, both to insure against rotation troubles and to keep the bullpen healthy/take the pressure off the dwindling number of trustworthy arms out there.
So, where will the Dodgers look? Even though they’re keen on keeping their tippy-top prospects, LA will reportedly be swimming in the deep end of the pool.
Rumor has it they’re still interested in long-time target Luis Castillo of the Reds, as well as Frankie Montas, the A’s rotation stalwart and sinker king who can’t buy a win (Oakland is a hideous 3-13 in his largely excellent starts in 2022).
Only problem is, everyone who’s anyone also wants those exact pieces. If the Dodgers win the bidding, it’ll feel like ripping off a bandaid.
Dodgers-A’s projected trade for Frankie Montas:
In order for Los Angeles to win this sweepstakes, they’ll likely need to surrender a hot, young name who fits Oakland’s needs.
Lucky for them, every possible need is one of Oakland’s needs, so they might be able to pick and choose/trade from positions of depth.
The Montas bidding likely starts with two top-10 prospects; from the Dodgers’ rankings on MLB Pipeline, how about OF Andy Pages and RHP Landon Knack, Nos. 4 and 7? Knack is the most likely Dodger to be dealt at this year’s deadline, ranking below Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot in the pecking order, but still with enough juice to lead a package. Losing Pages would hurt, but this process is destined to be painful.
If the Dodgers are unlucky, the package could look something like Pages, Knack and 19th-ranked SS Jacob Amaya. If they’re somehow leading the charge and the rest of MLB is unwilling to go far enough, they could try to sneak Pages out of the deal and replace him with ninth-ranked prospect Jorbit Vivas, a young infielder of some repute in his own right.
Montas isn’t necessarily an overpowering right-hander capable of racking up strikeout numbers, but he dependably attacks the zone and goes deep into games, saving a beleaguered bullpen in theory once every five days.
The second Montas package would definitely be preferable — but if you’re reading a trade package that doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t go far enough.
Especially in this particular market.