The Los Angeles Dodgers have created a little breathing room between themselves and the San Diego Padres in the NL West standings, with the free falling Giants lurking in name only, but not in practice.
That doesn’t mean the roster is in its final form, though. Long-term injuries to Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney have removed a good deal of the Dodgers’ depth, with Ryan Pepiot and Dustin May likely playing larger roles than expected down the stretch. Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin have been fantastic, but if either falters, LA doesn’t have a trusted veteran option backing up their successes.
Luckily, the trade deadline is here for you — hence the overload of rumors regarding Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas circulating in the Dodgers’ atmosphere.
Will Andrew Friedman dig deep and put together a bigger-than-expected package for the premier options on the market? Or will he try to eat innings with the lower tier of starters?
If Friedman is looking where most experts expect him to, he’s encountering plenty of MRIs these days. Montas’ shoulder issue has significantly clouded the market, as have a few injuries to players slotted in behind him in the pecking order.
Frankie Montas injury update: Dodgers trade targets all coming up injured before trade deadline
Montas’ shoulder problems developed right around the time Dodgers Way published their proposed trade package for the A’s ace — so kind of his shoulder. According to the righty’s latest emergency MRI, the shoulder is inflamed, but there’s no structural damage.
He’ll miss a start and may miss more. The less Montas you get before Aug. 1, the less valuable he is, though.
If the Dodgers continue to expand their NL West lead, their braintrust will pay that very little mind. If things tighten, though, what use is a hobbled right-hander with a swarm of contenders surrounding him/trying to provoke an overpay?
As for Mahle and Hendricks, the Cubs right-hander is likely to be more of a salary dump/innings-eater than a standout. His IL stint began on Wednesday, though, making him a last-minute addition to the walking wounded.
Same with Mahle; the Reds right-hander is on the record claiming he’s “not concerned” with the soreness and should return after the All-Star break. He also hit the IL on Wednesday afternoon.
Regardless of optimism from the parties involved, three of the Dodgers’ likely targets all come with newly-added red flags, with the deadline just three weeks away.