Dodgers acquire hard-throwing reliever (at lowest point) in trade with Phillies

Can only go up from here.
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Two seasons ago, Phillies right-hander Connor Brogdon was in the midst of a playoff heater, growing into one of the surprise contender's open postseason bullpen roles.

His 2.08 ERA in 8 2/3 innings (complete with 13 strikeouts) represented the exact genre of lucky stroke that a potential playoff also-ran needs to become a National League champion. Brogdon had been solid in the regular season (3.27 ERA in 44 innings with 44 hits allowed), but reached an apex when the games mattered most, and for that he wrote himself a nearly blank check in Philadelphia. All he had to do was progress somewhat steadily.

That did not happen. Brogdon's 2023 was unremarkable, as he slipped out of the team's circle of trust with a 4.03 ERA in 29 innings. 2024? He couldn't string outs together in any capacity, allowing six earned runs in two innings across three games. The Phillies' bullpen was supposed to be one of the National League's best. Thus far, they are one of the best ... at creating meltdowns.

Brogdon was the fall guy last week, but the Dodgers, of course, can't help but be tempted when 6'6" relievers who throw 98 MPH hit the open market. They snapped him up on Saturday in exchange for 23-year-old minor-league lefty Benony Robles.

Dodgers trade for righty Connor Brogdon after Phillies DFA

Add in Matt Gage, the lefty who returned to the Dodgers' minor leagues on Saturday morning after being DFA'd in favor of Taylor Trammell, and you have two more upside plays following the goodbyes to Dinelson Lamet and Nabil Crismatt.

The Dodgers clearly intend on the final spots in their bullpen revolving as much as possible in the first half of 2024, though Brogdon would much rather find stability under Mark Prior's tutelage than bounce again.

Clearly, the upside is there, and Brogdon has been excellent in practice quite recently rather than only solid in theory. Will the Dodgers let this one play out instead of acting quickly at Brogdon's first sign of struggle? Stay tuned; with all the firepower on their roster and road to the NL West title paved pretty plainly, they probably have some room for patience here.