As the trade deadline approaches, the 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers need bullpen help, which they can acquire by both … adding a premium bullpen arm and by nabbing a top-level starting pitcher and sending Dustin May/Tyler Anderson/someone electric from Triple-A into the Blake Treinen/Daniel Hudson spot.
In their mission to perfect yet another runaway NL West champion, these three teams might be standing in the way. Naturally, it’s incumbent upon the Dodgers to have no mercy.
Luis Castillo should be the Dodgers’ Pitching Plan A regardless of how the rest of the deadline shakes out; teams are well aware Cincinnati’s ace is available, and with one fewer year of control attached to him this summer, expectations could drop (only slightly). Competition will be fierce, though, and unless the Dodgers want to get stuck holding the Tyler Mahle bag, they should be prepared for their world-famous farm system to take a hit.
As for relief targets, presuming the Diamondbacks don’t want to trade All-Star Joe Mantiply within the division (unless they get a haul!), Los Angeles could be looking towards the Kansas City Royals’ well-stocked bullpen, the Cubs and their crown jewel David Robertson, or even the Orioles’ potential hybrid semi-contention sell-off. Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jose Quintana for the seventh inning? Pittsburgh’s own David Bednar? A lesser Pirate? The possibilities aren’t exactly endless, again making the Dodgers’ aggression key here.
With several American League contenders barking up the exact same trees, the Dodgers need to worry most about these three teams mucking up their plans.
3 teams Los Angeles Dodgers must outbid in 2022 MLB Trade Deadline quest
3. Houston Astros
LA’s nightmare scenario is a virtually-flawless Houston Astros team deciding to pile on at the deadline and rub in, for the rest of the league, just how talented and cocky they really are.
Closer Ryan Pressly summed it up best after the Astros not only busted the Mariners’ 14-game winning streak after the All-Star break wrapped, but effortlessly decimated the game’s hottest team. No big deal, said Pressly. They didn’t care who they were facing. They didn’t care about the standings. The expect to win daily.
That won’t change one iota if their rumored pursuit of Luis Castillo really heats up. Though the Astros’ farm system isn’t considered a behemoth, they produce pieces annually, refilling the cup with Jeremy Peña already in 2022. Young catchers like Korey Lee and Yainer Diaz, as well as the flamethrowing Hunter Brown, could be of interest to Cincinnati.
Based on previous pursuits of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, the Astros are the American League team most likely to muscle up if a viable trade is presented to them. Houston knows the value of titles, and since their only recent Word Series is tainted in the eyes of many, they’ll likely pull out all the stops in an attempt to secure another one.
That aggression might result in the Dodgers emptying their coffer for Castillo one level further than they were initially comfortable with.
Perhaps the ‘Stros will be after some bullpen help, too. Did Pressly’s showings at Yankee Stadium confirm he’s their closer through October? Could Ryne Stanek use another chest-thumper beside him? Regardless of what type of pitching they pursue, the Astros will assuredly be in the Dodgers’ way next week yet again.