Rightfully, Los Angeles Dodgers fans want the team to acquire pitching at this year's trade deadline, since that seems to be the sole weakness of the current squad. There are a few positional needs, but without pitching, the ship will sink fast in the postseason.
That said, Andrew Friedman and the front office know they have to tread lightly. Upgrades are needed, but not at a prohibitive cost unless they were to help the team beyond 2023. There are a ton of rentals out there that potential sellers will be looking to capitalize on by taking advantage of desperate buyers.
Luckily, Friedman's approach at the deadline is always the most calculated. He's either aiming to minimize risk or pay the right price for blockbuster acquisitions. He's really only made two mistakes -- trading away Yordan Alvarez and Oneil Cruz -- so the track record is trustworthy dating back to 2015.
This current Dodgers team has exceeded expectations and is leading the NL West despite a disastrous and battered pitching staff. Then again, this roster isn't simply a piece or two away from a bonafide juggernaut contender. It's very good, but the luxury of being able to shell out assets for a couple of rentals that will put them over the top doesn't exist at the moment.
Dodgers fans might be clamoring for some of these names, but they might not be realistic gets because of how the market is shaping up.
4 rentals Dodgers need to avoid at trade deadline to better prepare for 2024
In Michael Lorenzen's second full season as a starter, the Detroit Tigers right-hander has found his groove. After transitioning from a relief role the last two years (35 starts between the Angels and Tigers), he's hit his stride with a 3.49 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 1.09 WHIP in 17 starts (100.2 innings) and was named an All-Star in 2023.
He's signed to a one-year, $8.5 million contract, though, so the Tigers, another struggling team, will be looking to cash out and take advantage of Lorenzen's current peak. That's the wrong price to pay if you're a buyer, especially if Lorenzen's being acquired to immediately take over an integral role, which he would be doing with the Dodgers. He can't quite be trusted to immediately start logging high-leverage starts in a playoff race, and he doesn't have a long enough track record to be a comfortable extension candidate.
If the price is right? Sure. But it won't be.