Why Dodgers should outbid Mets for JD Martinez at trade deadline

Jason Reed
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 18: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts with J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a photograph during the 2022 Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 18: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts with J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a photograph during the 2022 Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

2. Martinez is exactly what the offense needs

The Dodgers are playing great baseball this season, but the lineup has felt one bat short this year. The main reason for that is the fact that the trio of Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger have all been performing under expectations.

Muncy is very obviously still dealing with elbow issues, so he likely won’t turn it around soon; Turner is old and can get hot in stretches, but hasn’t been the same since his NLCS hamstring injury; and Bellinger has been one of the worst bats in the league the last two years. LA simply can’t expect one of them to step up based on what we’ve seen so far.

As good as Will Smith is as a hitting catcher, he’s not a true cleanup hitter. Martinez is, and he would instantly slot into that fourth spot in the order behind Freddie Freeman and extend the lineup that much more.

Martinez is still one of the best designated hitters in the sport. The 34-year-old slugger is slashing .299/.367/.477 with nine home runs and 38 RBI. His home run power is down this season, but he’s still sporting a 130 OPS+, which would be fourth on the Dodgers behind Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman.

Even more compelling is how Martinez adds a power bat against left-handed pitching. Martinez absolutely rakes against lefties with a .362/.457/.594 slash line this season. That would be huge for a Dodgers team that has been worse against southpaws this year.

The Dodgers are eighth in the league with a .760 OPS against lefties this season. While that seems good, they also rank 22nd in Total OPS+ at 97. That essentially means they’re below average against lefties compared to their normal production.

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