3 former Dodgers who could be on the move at 2024 MLB trade deadline

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets / Al Bello/GettyImages

The Dodgers have a couple of problems they need to address by July 30 — bullpen, outfield, potentially shortstop — but they are no means limping going into the trade deadline. They're supplementing and gearing up for a playoff run, rather than overhauling and calling the season a wash.

Some former Dodgers, however, are on teams that are expected to do one or both of those things at the deadline. Most of them won't be headed back to LA, but one might be, maybe even before the impending chaos of the deadline.

3 former Dodgers who could be on the move at 2024 MLB trade deadline

JD Martinez

Martinez was a one-year wonder for the Dodgers last season and, whether or not he's traded at the deadline, seems doomed to facing free agency under Scott Boras again when the season wraps up. Although he had his sixth All-Star campaign with the Dodgers in 2023, he settled for one year and $12 million with the Mets just a week and some change before Opening Day, after Boras tried and failed to play chicken with teams in hopes it would drive his clients' stock up (in almost every case, it did exactly the opposite).

The Mets are fourth in the NL East and their chances of making the playoffs are slim, so they're likely to be sellers at the deadline. Pete Alonso is their biggest bargaining chip by far, but Martinez could also be useful to them. His ~$5 million salary (by the time the deadline arrives) isn't much of a burden for a team to take on, and he's still hit decently despite a late start to the year (he began the season in Triple-A to make up for the lost spring training time).

In a trade deadline predictions piece for The Athletic, Jim Bowden listed Martinez as a potential option for the Reds and Pirates to target to bolster their offenses (subscription required). Neither the Pirates nor Reds are going to be postseason contenders either, so if he heads to either team, he'll just have to serve his time before trying free agency again.

Connor Joe

Joe was another player name-dropped in Bowden's article, in this case as a potential option for the Yankees as a first base possibility while Anthony Rizzo continues to slump. Joe never reached the majors with the Dodgers, but he did have two separate stints in LA — once in 2018 before getting swiped by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft, and again in 2019 after being DFA'ed by the Giants. He opted out of the 2020 season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer and hit free agency before signing a minor league deal with the Rockies.

He found a mostly-everyday spot on the Pirates in 2023 and was pretty consistent for them, batting .247 with a .760 OPS. Although he hasn't been hitting as well so far in June, he still has a .255 average and .757 OPS on the season. The Pirates are in last place in the NL Central but only 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot; however, there are five other teams in the NL who are in a similar position.

The Yankees definitely need a backup for Rizzo, and going from Pittsburgh to New York would probably be most players' dreams, even if it meant less playing time. Joe is also under team control for three more seasons, making him a long-term affordable option for those in need of a first baseman.

Kenley Jansen

Jansen basically entered the 2024 season with the Red Sox knowing that he wouldn't finish the year in Boston. The Dodgers were linked to Jansen multiple times during the offseason, even as early as January, when Jon Heyman (who seems to be drivign the Jansen-back-to-the-Dodgers narrative) connected them. Bob Nightengale confirmed the Red Sox would be shopping him, maybe even before the deadline.

A Jansen return to LA could be nice for old time's sake, but it also doesn't make much sense with Evan Phillips back in the bullpen after nearly a monthlong absence with a hamstring strain. That month could've been a window for the Dodgers to welcome Jansen back, but everyone stayed put.

Phillips hasn't looked quite as sharp since his IL stint; he has a 3.86 ERA over his last seven appearances, owing almost entirely to the four-hit, three-run inning he pitched on June 6. It doesn't seem like enough for the Dodgers to bump him from the closer role, but they are expected to be looking for relief help at the deadline, so Jansen could be an option.