Entering the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers are very suddenly exactly where they expect to be: atop the NL West, with lurkers in the Diamondbacks and Giants suddenly floundering (3-7 and 4-6 in their last 10 games, respectively).
That puts LA in the driver's seat. It's impressive they've managed to not only survive, but thrive despite a myriad of rotation injuries, a lineup carried by rookies (but without a middle infield), and a bullpen that looks rough on paper, whether it's healthy or hobbled.
Knowing the way Andrew Friedman works, it's quite likely the Dodgers go both small and moderate to fulfill their needs. If Trea Turner and Max Scherzer were to suddenly become available (and also suddenly be in the Padres' clutches), he'd reconsider. For now, it's patchwork all the way.
That's why we've written recently about a Tim Anderson fit. The Dodgers and White Sox have always matched up well, and as Anderson's trade value has decreased due to poor performance, it's actually felt more likely, not less, that the Dodgers would consider paying the reduced price. Their dream remains Willy Adames, but a batting champ in need of a hitting lesson wouldn't be a bad player to receive in exchange for a lottery ticket.
Or, you know, the Giants could sneak in and grab Anderson instead, as The Athletic's Eno Sarris posited might help them on Wednesday.
Dodgers Rumors: Could Giants buy Tim Anderson's bounce back instead of LA?
Anderson's pitiful numbers this season could've been influenced by a career-low BABIP. The shift could've also harmed him irreparably. It seems more likely, though, that a moderate bounce back is in order, if not a heater.
At least Sarris has a solution in mind for the Dodgers, too: Tommy Pham or Mark Canha of the Mets to help balance their offense out against left-handers. The Dodgers have a top-three offense against righties and the 10th-best mark against lefties. Pham, who mashes southpaws and projects to slug more than Canha, could help the Dodgers get over the hump here.
Of course, Pham can't play shortstop (or, at least, a capable shortstop). Watching Anderson head to San Francisco and prosper -- especially while Friedman and Rick Hahn match up so well -- would be a disappointing cherry on top of the Giants' resurgence.