While many Los Angeles Dodgers fans are clamoring for a Juan Soto trade or even a deal for Reds ace Luis Castillo, it’s hard to bank on that. Soto might not be dealt until the offseason and there are a lot of suitors lining up for Castillo, which might turn Andrew Friedman off.
In the end, the Dodgers will still make deals if they can’t attain the top targets, but they might not be as impactful or momentous as some might’ve been expecting.
On the other hand, though, the Dodgers have a lot of young talent rocketing up the prospect pipeline, which could help supplement the roster in August and September and act as a form of “trade deadline acquisitions.”
Other teams using this strategy/philosophy is problematic because, well, there’s no contender out there currently as good as the Dodgers with as deep of a farm system as the Dodgers. Friedman has built a behemoth, and there’s no shortage of resources in LA.
That’s why it’s very possible Miguel Vargas (No. 5 per MLB Pipeline) and Ryan Pepiot (No. 6 per MLB Pipeline) could be the prospects that serve as reliable reinforcements in the event there’s not ample action at the deadline.
Dodgers could use prospects Miguel Vargas and Ryan Pepiot as trade deadline reinforcement
Starting with Vargas, the potential heir-apparent to Justin Turner at third base, he only needed 83 games at Double-A before the Dodgers bumped him to OKC. In 89 games at Triple-A this season, Vargas is slashing .295/.388/.493 with 77 runs scored, 13 homers, 67 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He’s struck out only 61 times, too.
While his glove hasn’t been all that spectacular at the hot corner (14 errors in 582 innings), he’s now logged 10 full games in left field and has yet to commit a single error. Maybe he’s the bench bat to complement Trayce Thompson out there so the Dodgers can avoid spending more at the deadline? It’s possible. He can be utilized at multiple positions and finally get a taste of facing pitching at the next level.
Then there’s Pepiot, who would play a role in fortifying the Dodgers’ greatest deadline need: pitching. He’s already made his MLB debut in 2022, starting four games and registering a 2.76 ERA, 4.16 FIP and 1.35 WHIP with 19 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. He needs to clean up the walks, though, because he’s sitting a 6.6 per 9 innings, and that just won’t fly.
However, in the minors, the right-hander is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.24 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 14 games (68.1 innings). He’s still struggling with walks (4 per 9 innings), but he hardly surrenders home runs (0.9 per 9 innings) and has only allowed 42 hits.
Pepiot may not be the game-breaking starting pitcher Dodgers fans are so desperately hoping for given how the staff is hobbling a bit right now, but, at the very least, adding Pepiot as a spot starter/long relief option for August, September and potentially October could really take a ton of pressure off the rest of the pitching staff and provide the 24-year-old with the necessary, high-leverage major league experience he’ll need to succeed with the Dodgers.
Not the worst Plan B, right?