4 new trade deadline targets for Dodgers after Mookie Betts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto injuries

With the Dodgers' ever-evolving roster needs, here is an updated look at who they could be targeting at the trade deadline.
Chicago White Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago White Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a brutal one-two punch this past weekend: they lost Yoshinobu Yamamoto and then Mookie Betts to the IL on Saturday and Sunday respectively, and neither are expected to return for several weeks. Outside of the immediate concerns for the rotation and lineup, it also raised even more questions for the trade deadline.

The original targets — the bullpen, bottom of the lineup, and bench — have some competition for what LA will need to worry about most come July 30. The need for a new shortstop has intensified, and the Dodgers may even need to look into an extra starter to make up for Yamamoto's loss.

Willy Adames and Bo Bichette have already been connected to LA multiple times, but if they're not moving, who should the Dodgers pursue instead?

4 new trade deadline targets for Dodgers after Mookie Betts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto injuries

Paul DeJong

After being released by the Giants last season, DeJong is having a great comeback year with possibly the worst team to do it: the Chicago White Sox. He leads the Sox in home runs and slugging, and is second in RBI and third in doubles. His defense does leave something to be desired, but he's perfectly average the position per Baseball Savant, and his walk rate is a pretty abysmal 3.8%, but walks have never been a big part of his game and he's been able to make up with it to a certain extent with his power.

DeJong is one of the most prominent shortstops who actually might be on the trade block at the deadline. Adames and Bichette have both been connected to the Dodgers, but it seems unlikely that either will finish out the season anywhere but Milwaukee and Toronto. If the Dodgers can't or aren't willing to dump Gavin Lux at the deadline and are instead looking for pure shortstop options to replace Betts, DeJong is one they could pursue without dismantling the top of their prospect pipeline to do it.

Jesús Luzardo

Luzardo has been one of the biggest names circulating as a massive trade piece as the Marlins, much like the White Sox, head straight for a fire sale in late July. Despite his 5.00 ERA over 66 2/3 innings this season, Luzardo has two consistent years behind him that's attracting teams with an 'I can fix him' mentality. If anyone can do it, it's probably the Dodgers, who have an infamous knack for turning players of all kinds around, but especially pitchers. At only 26, he's still relatively young and has a high ceiling that he's clearly not equipped to reach in Miami.

The Dodgers have seemed incredibly attracted to the idea of a six-man rotation in order to give some of their more injury-prone starters an extra day of rest between outings. With Yamamoto on the IL, they're back down to five but will be at six once again when Clayton Kershaw completes his rehab assignment. If they did trade for Luzardo, it's likely that Gavin Stone (despite a fantastic sophomore season) would get the push to the bullpen or even remain as a potential seventh starter if Kershaw warrants even more extra rest days after coming back from surgery.

Lane Thomas

Thomas is neither a shortstop nor a starting pitcher, but if the Dodgers don't procure a new shortstop and don't trade Kiké Hernández (expected to back up Miguel Rojas at short) and Gavin Lux, they'll still need another bench bat for the outfield.

After Betts' injury, they recalled Miguel Vargas for the second time this season and would probably be the first to be optioned again if there's a roster crunch, but Chris Taylor's future is still very much in jeopardy. Thomas has been having a decent year at the plate for the Nationals — not enough to warrant a spot in LA's everyday lineup, but he's certainly been performing better than Taylor. He could also replace Cavan Biggio on the roster if Biggio can't make a case for himself to stay before the deadline.

It doesn't hurt that Thomas also crushes left-handed pitching, batting .327 with a .948 OPS against them, so he could be perfect to platoon with Jason Heyward in right field. Making a deal with the Nats for Thomas would be another move that probably wouldn't break the Dodgers' bank.

Tyler Anderson

The Dodgers' crosstown rivals are sitting on a .403 record and are 13 games behind the first place Mariners in the AL West, so they also seem headed toward a sale at the deadline. Anderson, who pitched 178 2/3 innings for the Dogers in 2022 for a 2.57 ERA, would probably come with a steep price tag, but he has a history of success in LA and has also been better this season with the Angels than Luzardo has with the Marlins. Anderson's pitched 87 1/3 innings for the Angels, the most by far of any of their starters, for a 2.58 ERA this season, also by far the best ERA in the rotation.

Taking Anderson on would also mean taking on one more year of his three-year, $39 million contract, but if can wrap up the season well for the Dodgers, they could shop him again in the offseason or have another starter in waiting after James Paxton's one-year contract has expired. His departure from the Dodgers in 2022 seemed a little contentious, but if all parties can put their differences aside, he could be an important piece to LA's success in the second half.