The Los Angeles Dodgers already made their first pre-trade deadline move when they acquired Kiké Hernandez from the Boston Red Sox to improve their depth and versatility. LA surrendered two minor-league relievers, received an additional $2.5 million from Boston, and believe there's a mechanical adjustment that can unlock Hernandez, who's largely been struggling since 2022. On Wednesday, they followed that up by trading Noah Syndergaard for Guardians shortstop Amed Rosario. Great move.
But Andrew Friedman is far from done. According to reports, the Dodgers are interested in trading for Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn, who is under contract for the remainder of 2023 (he'd be owed around ~$8 million) and has an $18 million club option for 2024.
Per reports, the Tampa Bay Rays have also been talking with the White Sox "for weeks" about Lynn, but no deal is imminent. It's unclear how wide-ranging Lynn's market is because of how rough his 2023 has been, but perhaps teams are valuing his strikeout numbers (139 Ks in 115 innings). His 10.9 K/9 currently stands as the best of his career.
Other than that, though, Lynn has largely been dreadful. He's 6-9 with a 6.18 ERA, 5.28 FIP and 1.44 WHIP and leads the AL in earned runs (79) and home runs (28). Maybe there's a chance teams might be eyeing him as a reliever because of his elevated strikeout rate, whiff rate and fastball spin rate.
Or, maybe the Dodgers were working on a package deal with the White Sox to get their hands on Lucas Giolito and another reliever and are trying to lessen the prospect package in return by eating the rest of Lynn's money before the Angels swooped in and probably ruined that plan?
Dodgers News: Lance Lynn buzz, Angels blockbuster trade, Tony Gonsolin
On Wednesday night, the Angels acquired Giolito and reliever Reynaldo Lopez in a deal with Chicago, which ostensibly took two Dodgers targets off the board. That signaled Anaheim's unwillingness to trade Shohei Ohtani, which was reported shortly before this trade was made.
The Angels are four games back of the final Wild Card spot in the AL and it's not like the competition is overly fierce with the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays ahead of them. The Astros are five games up on them in the playoff standings as well, but Anaheim will at least get three more cracks at their division rival before the season ends.
If the Dodgers were zoning in on the White Sox for more pitching help, they might have to look elsewhere.
The need for pitching becomes more and more urgent by the day for LA. After dropping Wednesday's series finale/rubber match to the Toronto Blue Jays, Tony Gonsolin once again drew the ire of the fanbase with another lackluster outing.
The right-hander allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in just five innings. His season ERA has now ballooned to 4.25. He only has three quality starts on the year and has exceeded six innings pitched just once.
Since June 18, Gonsolin has seen his ERA jump from 1.93 to 4.25. He's allowed seven home runs over his last six starts. Even when he was putting up promising numbers, he wasn't really trusted as a postseason pitcher. Now that he's putting up bad ones, the alarms have been set off.
It didn't help that manager Dave Roberts kind of called out his pitcher in the postgame, stating: "There's just that next gear that we need to tap into. I don't know if it's a mindset thing, I don't know if it's a fatigue thing. Obviously, it's an execution thing. That's something we're certainly mindful of."
Gonsolin's slide has come at the worst time and though his spot in the rotation isn't in danger becuause the Dodgers have so few pitchers, it's worth wondering if he'll have a role with this team after 2023.