If you look around Major League Baseball leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline, there are only a few surefire sellers. The Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox feel like they'll be offloading as many assets as they can without compromising their futures.
But outside of the White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers don't really match up favorably with any of those bottom feeders, all of whom have very little to offer. That means there will be a ton of competition for the few names available from all of those teams, and the Dodgers don't want to get in any bidding wars with middling talent.
If LA wants to make a run at the World Series this year and/or look ahead to 2024 and beyond, any biddng war they insert themselves into better be for a near-perfect fit, superior talent or desperate need. Even so, executives want to avoid those scenarios as often as possible.
That's why fans can bet Andrew Friedman is scoping out the rest of the league, especially teams in need of a very good stretch of play right out of the All-Star break. A quick slide to begin the second half could turn a number of teams out there into sellers, which would open up the market for the Dodgers and help them get what they want without dealing with a diminished supply.
Perhaps these potential links should have Dodgers fans a bit more engaged leading up to the deadline, instead of everyone sitting there wondering which Kansas City Royal would fit best in Dodger Blue.
5 possible Dodgers trade candidates that aren't available in talks just yet
The Seattle Mariners very much need to pick things up out of the gate, or else they'll be in danger of falling completely out of the AL playoff picture. At 45-44, they still have a shot at the AL West (six games back), but they're also four games back of a Wild Card spot as they battle it out with the Orioles, Astros, Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox.
In the event the M's can't find a rhythm, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez might be one of the first players out the door. He's only signed through 2023 and was acquired in the offseason from the Blue Jays with the sole purpose of helping Seattle contend right now. He hasn't been bad, but he also has been far from great.
His 115 strikeouts lead the AL. His 2023 campaign is looking more like his 2018-2019 showing when he was finding his footing in MLB. He was a bonafide All-Star from 2020-2022. But you know what he still does do? He crushes lefty pitching (.275/.331/.570 for his career), which is something the Dodgers need badly. Additionally, he's seen some improvement on the defensive end, logging 3 Defensive Runs Saved while ranking in the 62nd percentile for Outs Above Average.
The Dodgers need another outfielder, especially if Mookie Betts will be spending more of his time in the infield now. This could be the buy-low move that elevates LA.