Dodgers 2024 Trade Deadline: How about this outside-the-box approach for LA?

New York Mets v Texas Rangers
New York Mets v Texas Rangers / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Though looked at as the heavy favorite to win the World Series before the season, many glaring issues have begun to affect the National League powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers over the past few weeks. Preseason concerns about the lineup past the fifth spot have become true with the Dodgers’ depth pieces not being able to contribute, as well as a few injuries to regulars.

Manager Dave Roberts is beginning to have difficulty putting out a lineup that can produce consistently on a day-to-day basis.

With the disappointing loss of MVP candidate Mookie Betts and an already struggling offense, Andrew Friedman will need to look for options outside the organization on the trade market. But what if he took an outside-the-box approach to make it happen?

Dodgers 2024 Trade Deadline: Realistic, Somewhat Realistic, and Longshot Options

Realistic

Washington Nationals veteran outfielder Jesse Winker looks to be on the market ahead of the July 30 deadline. The 30-year-old signed a minor-league contract in February and made the Opening Day roster after struggling during his only season in Milwaukee last year. The lefty’s eight-year career has been up and down, which included an All-Star appearance in 2021 and two subpar seasons following.

This season, Winker is batting .265 with a 125 OPS+ in 68 games with Washington, proving he could be a contributor against both righties and lefties. Winker has played exclusively in left field over the course of his career, which would allow Teoscar Hernandez to move permanently back to his natural position in right field. On an expiring contract, the Nats won’t be asking much for Winker, but with a weak National League, they will have to lose faith in gaining a Wild Card spot before moving him.

Somewhat Realistic

A move that would excite Dodgers fans is the acquisition of star center fielder Luis Robert from the Chicago White Sox. As Chicago’s disastrous season continues, it is rumored that they will be listening to offers for the Gold Glover, with the Dodgers and Phillies being potential suitors. The 26-year-old righty has shown elite power, speed, and defense over his first few seasons in the pros.

Robert has struggled in limited action this season after dealing with an injury, but following his first All-Star season he may begin to turn it around in a winning environment. Having signed a team-friendly contract before he even played an MLB game, the asking price for Robert should be high given his talent and club control through 2027. If the Dodgers want to significantly improve their lineup, Robert is a key candidate who could contribute in more ways than just with the bat.

They'll just have to be cognizant of his health when weighing the price.

Longshot

On an expensive long-term contract, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor would be a perfect fit for LA, but it’s hard to see New York moving on from the 30-year-old with the amount of money already invested in him and as they continue to play much better baseball in June. But again, that could change.

Lindor has been the subject of much criticism in his three and a half years with the Mets as he has underperformed at times as the face of the franchise.

After his first 30-30 season in 2023, Lindor started slow this season but has since picked it up significantly while raising his average to .231(it was below .200 in mid-May) and driving in runs at a high clip. With the loss of Betts, the Platinum Glove winner could slot in as the Dodgers' everyday shortstop, and Dave Roberts could move Mookie back to right field, where he has excelled in the past. A trade for Lindor would cost the Dodgers plenty of prospects and they would be expected to take on much of the switch-hitter's contract, along with the Mets coming to terms with letting go of such an important part of their franchise.

As Los Angeles’ schedule begins to lighten during the summer, expect to see an abundance of moves to improve its significant offensive struggles. GM Andrew Freidman has to structure this team for a long postseason run over the next month or so.

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