Though there's still time for a blockbuster trade to go down, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be leaning conservative this offseason. Despite what general manager Brandon Gomes said, fans shouldn't expect anything momentous.
But ... expect something, especially now that a realistic trade candidate from the Milwaukee Brewers has emerged. Previously, fans were vying for stars like shortstop Willy Adames and ace Corbin Burnes, but those packages would've been prohibitive for the Dodgers. Not to mention, the Brewers moving cost-controlled stars hardly aligns with their process.
It's not impossible ... it's just very unlikely. But after the Brew Crew added starter Wade Miley on a one-year, $4.5 million contract Thursday, many began speculating about Adrian Houser's status for the 2023 season.
The right-hander, who has made 76 starts since the beginning of 2019, could get squeezed out of Milwaukee's rotation with Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and potentially Miley taking up all five spots. Houser, based on his relief stats, could be utilized as the first guy out of the bullpen.
Or, of course, he could be traded for other roster needs since he's owed ~$3.6 million for the 2023 season, while Milwaukee has Aaron Ashby, Bryse Wilson and Jason Alexander as similar, cheaper options.
Could the Dodgers target Brewers' Adrian Houser in a trade?
Though the Dodgers have guys like Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove (in addition to rising prospects Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone) either ready or almost ready to be that sixth starter/first guy out of the bullpen, Houser would provide better insurance and would give the Dodgers security heading into 2024.
He's under club control for two more seasons, and with guys like Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Noah Syndergaard and Daniel Hudson potentially hitting free agency, any and all security beyond 2023 is welcome.
Not to mention, Houser's numbers in relief are pretty awesome. Would he consider such a role in LA on a perennial contender?
The Dodgers brought in Tyler Anderson last year to be their first option out of the bullpen to either start games or come in for relief. Houser could be that exact replacement the Dodgers are lacking right now, and could profile as a reliable back end starter or a high-leverage reliever when looking at his splits:
As Starter - 4.31 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 292 strikeouts in 76 starts (371.2 innings)
As Reliever - 1.76 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 51 strikeouts in 30 games (56.1 innings)
If the Dodgers are looking for a lower-cost acquisition they can get the most out of, perhaps Houser is the Brewer we've all been waiting for.
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