The Los Angeles Dodgers are supposed to be the big dogs during every trade deadline and entering every offseason. Nothing's supposed to get past them. They're not supposed to get blindsided by silly obstacles. They're not supposed to be afraid of players' ages or length/price of contracts.
But that's exactly what happened on Tuesday. The Dodgers first bowed out of the Justin Verlander sweepstakes despite the Mets and Steve Cohen offering to pay down a majority of the remaining money on his deal (which could last through 2025). Not sure why, but we'd love answers.
Fans weren't too bummed about that when it happened, though, because plenty of other options were available. Eduardo Rodriguez was seemingly the next Dodgers' target, and that would've satisfied many.
The Tigers left-hander has been having a very good season despite missing six weeks due to a finger injury. He came at a good base salary and had an opt-out clause after the 2023 season, so he probably wasn't going to cost the Dodgers a ton in terms of prospect capital. And who knows ... maybe they could've convinced him to opt in.
None of that mattered, however. The Dodgers didn't do the most basic homework possible when it came to Rodriguez and his contract. The veteran had a 10-team no-trade clause and the Dodgers were on it, but they didn't bother asking. They got to the finish line of the deal with the Tigers and Rodriguez nixed it.
Dodgers' explanation for whiffing on Eduardo Rodriguez trade isn't good enough
Andrew Friedman's response? The Dodgers were surprised it became an issue towards the end of the negotiations. Essentially, "We had no idea he wouldn't want to play for one of the best teams in MLB."
Friedman went on to say that there was "no way" to anticipate that happening on the front end, which is hard to believe. If his agent was involved in the negotiations with the Tigers, it's a simple series of questions. Does he have a no-trade clause? Are we on the list of teams he doesn't want to be traded to? Would he be willing to make an exception?
Instead, the Dodgers wasted precious hours on deadline day that cost them dearly. They needed to net another starting pitcher beyond Lance Lynn (who had a nice Dodgers debut, but there's still a long road ahead). Whiffed on Verlander. Rodriguez. Jack Flaherty. James Paxton. Dylan Cease. Jordan Montgomery. Lucas Giolito. The Padres took Rich Hill and Scott Barlow from them.
In the end, the Dodgers assumed, got burned, and by the time the dust settled, they were well behind the eight ball, even with the deadline extended two hours compared to previous years.
Either that, or, as the LA Times posited, nobody really wants to play for the Dodgers? Could that be true? We hope not, but this year's deadline feels like a significant failure and one that didn't properly aid an overachieving roster that needed just a little boost.