Dodgers make trade with Guardians to address pitching depth

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

The Dodgers have been going through relievers like no one's business to start the season. Even with Walker Buehler back and LA's rotation finally getting to five men after running on four plus openers out of the bullpen, they've already had 18 relievers appear for them in under 50 games, as arms keep going onto the IL and the team sends others up and down to/from the minors.

Their latest trade with the Guardians have netted them lefty reliever Anthony Banda, who will probably be placed in that cycle soon enough. On Friday afternoon, they sent cash to Cleveland in exchange for Banda, who has yet to appear in the majors this season.

Banda is well-traveled throughout major league systems; the Dodgers are the 12th team he's landed with since being drafted by the Brewers in 2012, but he's only appeared in the majors for seven of those teams. He'll soon be attending the Mark Prior school of pitching witchcraft and wizardry, though, so maybe the Dodgers have found themselves someone who can carve out a role.

At the very least, he could mix things up for a lefty-starved LA bullpen.

Dodgers send cash to the Guardians in return for well-traveled lefty reliever Anthony Banda

Banda last appeared in the majors in 2023, pitching seven innings for the Nationals for a 6.43 ERA. He's looked good for the Guardians' Triple-A team so far this season, with a 2.12 ERA over 17 innings. It's a marked improvement from his 65 1/3 innings and 7.58 ERA in the Nationals' system last year (and from his last 10 years in the minors, at that), but that doesn't necessarily guarantee major league success.

He has a 5.69 career ERA at the major league level, with his best year being 2021, when he spent time with both the Mets and Phillies, and pitched almost 34 innings for a low-4.00s ERA. These aren't amazing stats by any means, but the Dodgers have turned around worse. Evan Phillips had a very similar track record (albeit with fewer teams) before LA turned him around into one of the best relievers in baseball.

The Dodgers aren't likely to put Banda on the 26-man immediately, and will probably send him to Triple-A and see if he can keep doing what he was doing in the minors for the Guardians. Whenever they get tired of Nick Ramirez, JP Feyereisen, or Elieser Hernández (again), Banda could get a call.