During the annual frenzy of the MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers were very aggressive early, making multiple trades before any other teams (except the Angels) had made noise. But the moves the Dodgers made were met with mixed reactions from fans, whether it was concerns about Joe Kelly's or Lance Lynn's ERAs and inconsistencies, or Kiké Hernández's abysmal offensive numbers on the Red Sox, or how Amed Rosario's defensive value is lacking.
There were definitely other players on the market that could have helped the Dodgers in areas of need, and LA's later attempts to fill the biggest flaws on the roster fell through for various reasons.
Should the Dodgers have been looking elsewhere in the first place all along, though?
The Dodgers' acquisitions of Hernández and Rosario proved that the team was looking for right-handed bats at the deadline. James Outman, David Peralta and Jason Heyward have all been strong enough defensively and effective against righties with the bat. But against lefties, Peralta and Heyward are not ideal options, and with Mookie Betts' ability to switch between the infield and outfield, the Dodgers had leeway to target a right-handed bat at pretty much any position. LA also entered the deadline in desperate need of starting pitching (when is the last time the Dodgers had three rookies in the rotation simultaneously?), and to a lesser extent, bullpen help.
in the end, their efforts largely went unfulfilled. How could they have done better?
5 massive missed opportunities Dodgers squandered at trade deadline
LHP Sam Moll
The Dodgers started off the deadline by making small improvements on the edges of the roster, and a lefty reliever is surely something that could’ve helped them out. When you consider the Reds only gave up their 28th-ranked prospect (Joe Boyle) to acquire Sam Moll from the A's, the Dodgers would not have given up a lot in return either, similar to the Rosario and Hernandez deals. While Moll isn’t having an All-Star-caliber season, and his 4.54 ERA is not something to brag about, his numbers (and his 3.03 xERA and 3.25 FIP) compare favorably to Alex Vesia‘s 5.59 ERA on the season.
Despite Vesia's peripherals showing he's due for some positive regression to the mean soon (3.97 xERA and 3.86 FIP), Moll has that same upside with better numbers to begin with. And, given recent struggles by Caleb Ferguson, LA doesn't currently have a reliable lefty pitcher anywhere on the major league roster. While fans would likely complain about another small-scale move, this one would've been directly in line with this year's deadline strategy of filling big holes on the roster. He's still in his pre-arbitration years so the Dodgers could keep him around in the future regardless of how much he would impact this year’s roster, and the relatively-low price that would have been paid to get him is the main reason he lands on this list.