The Los Angeles Dodgers have restored order to the universe and reclaimed the top spot in the division thanks to a combination of good play and the Diamondbacks coming back down to earth. That puts them in a strong position heading into the trade deadline, especially since the team that most people thought would give LA the most trouble, the San Diego Padres, looks more likely to be sellers than buyers.
The Padres' collapse in 2023 has been pretty wild. Despite having a top-five pitching staff in all of baseball by fWAR at 11.1, San Diego is still below .500 for the season. A big part of that has just been good ol' fashioned underperformance with guys like Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts not being quite as good as hoped, and Jake Cronenworth, Nelson Cruz, Rougned Odor and Matt Carpenter being duds. Getting unlucky sure hasn't helped either as their run differential (+46) is better than two division leaders at the moment while their expected W-L is a full seven games better than their actual record.
This has been great news for Dodgers fans because it's one less team that could challenge them ... in addition to the general joy of watching a division rival erupt into a dumpster fire. However, San Diego's struggles could also dramatically alter the trade deadline because it is very possible the Padres could end up being sellers at the deadline.
Any trade of note between the Padres and Dodgers is basically dead on arrival, especially after LA fleeced AJ Preller in the Matt Beaty deal last year. It's already going to be hard enough for San Diego to actually bail on all of the resources they have sunk into this season. Moving good players to a division rival is the sort of thing that gets general managers fired, and Preller knows that (as crazy as he is). However, that doesn't mean it isn't nice to think about how good some of these potentially available Padres players would look in Dodger Blue.
Here are 3 Dodgers-Padres that we wish could happen, but won't
To be clear, these are not trades that could ever realistically happen or even SHOULD happen. The Padres are not running a charity over there and even if they could ever be convinced to make a deal with the Dodgers at all, the in-division premium they would charge would be absurd. This is strictly looking at the Dodgers' needs at the moment and seeing who the Padres have that could fit the bill. Don't worry, we'll talk about potential payroll concerns as well.
Lets look at three Padres players we wish the Dodgers could pilfer at the trade deadline.