World Series fates are sealed at the trade deadline when good teams decide to operate in semi-silence and acquire depth throughout the roster, and not just at the top. How often has October’s champion been determined by the splashiest move of the midsummer frenzy? 2021’s Dodgers learned that lesson well, when a Max Scherzer/Trea Turner package wasn’t enough to overcome the Atlanta Braves, who fortified multiple areas at the deadline without earning rave reviews in the moment.
Perhaps this year, the Dodgers could be the ones that acquire the equivalent of Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario, especially after Andrew Friedman was outbid by the ultra-aggressive Seattle Mariners in the Luis Castillo chase.
That doesn’t mean he won’t stay in the Juan Soto chase until the bitter end. It just means that perhaps he’d be better served making more secretive improvements while the Padres grab the Josh Hader headlines.
Where would the 2019 Nationals have been without a flurry of minor improvements like Daniel Hudson? Would the Red Sox have captured the 2018 title without World Series MVP Steve Pearce?
Baseball is extremely annoying, and history typically rewards the shrewd. So when the world presents a quiet opportunity to add a versatile third baseman mid-breakout in Brandon Drury, the Dodgers should likely grab it.
Dodgers Rumors: Brandon Drury finalists Mariners, Braves, LA
Drury, previously an unknown commodity and ancillary piece, put up an All-Star-level first half in Cincinnati, maintaining a 129 OPS+ through the end of July with 20 bombs and 59 RBI. He’s not just a stealth addition; he’s a fairly obvious upgrade, despite his relatively anonymous name.
With less than 24 hours to go before the deadline, the Dodgers remain in on Drury, who should only cost a top-15 prospect and a lottery ticket, and isn’t under control beyond 2022. They’re not alone — the Mariners and Braves are also reportedly all over him.
Braves, huh? Sounds familiar.
Seattle has been ultra-aggressive in all facets of the trade market as the deadline nears. The Braves have been the undisputed kings of patching holes and finding niches for the past calendar year.
The Dodgers? They’re not desperate. They’ve passed on both Castillo and Frankie Montas while putting their faith in Walker Buehler’s return and Dustin May’s contributions. They’ve nibbled at Juan Soto and entertained a massive offer. But they won’t get left in the dark on mid-level contributors, either, and they’d be wise to snag Drury while they’re having larger conversations.
Otherwise, he could come up in a crucial NLCS at-bat with a tomahawk across his chest.