Dodgers fans won't like GM's trade deadline response to Betts, Yamamoto injuries

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Even before the losses of Mookie Betts and Yoshinobu Yamamoto earlier this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers had two major considerations for the trade deadline — the bottom of the order and the bullpen. Jason Heyward has been looking a lot better after a slow start following an IL stint, but Chris Taylor only just managed to raise his average over .115 for the first time since March 31, Gavin Lux is hitting .130 over his last seven games, and Kiké Hernández isn't doing much better at .188.

The Dodgers' depleted bullpen has also looked better over the last few weeks with Alex Vesia leading the charge, but they're still missing six arms to the IL (five of which are on the 60-day) and are sure to be stretched thin with LA's rotation back down to four men.

Then there was the issue of shortstop, which fans were begging the Dodgers to find a more long-term solution for, even before Betts' hand was fractured. It's unclear if the Dodgers ever had plans to shop for shortstops given how much faith they seemed to have in Betts to get better, but now that he's out for six-to-eight weeks, that matter seems even more pressing. Yamamoto having a much murkier timeline would also make fans expect the Dodgers to be aggressive on finding another starter at the deadline.

Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes says Mookie Betts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto injuries won't change LA's plan of attack at trade deadline

But GM Brandon Gomes had an incredibly dissatisfying answer for how LA was going to respond in the face of these major injuries. He said, "I actually don't think it meaningfully changes anything at this point. With the expectation that those guys are gonna be back for the postseason." That's definitely not what we want to hear.

Sure, there's still a month and some change until the deadline on July 30, which is a considerable amount of time to see if Betts and Yamamoto are progressing through their injuries fast enough to return for the back half of the season and the postseason. But would it also not behoove the Dodgers to start thinking very hard about a contingency plan now?

Yamamoto's sprained rotator cuff is a bit of a nebulous injury that needs time more than anything to fully heal. If LA isn't looking into replacement options and are putting all of their eggs into that basket, they could find themselves a starter short going into October.

If the Dodgers were never going to pursue a shortstop and just let Miguel Rojas fill in until Betts can return, that's frustrating on a number of levels. Rojas has been hitting pretty well this season and is an elite defender.

But not finding a new shortstop to move Betts back to second when he does return alludes to LA's intention to keep Lux. Dodgers fans have been calling for Lux's departure basically since spring training, when his inability to hack it at short was the first domino in all of the proceeding drama.

There's nothing wrong with hoping for the best with Betts and Yamamoto, but the Dodgers need to be much more proactive about their approach to the deadline. If they don't seriously consider alternative options and end up losing out on potential replacements, they could be on the back foot going into the postseason.

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