The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball and their once-upon-a-time east coast counterparts, the New York Yankees, are below .500 and, at this point, expected to miss the postseason. They could also finish below .500 for the first time since 1992.
Any fan out there hoping for a classic Dodgers-Yankees World Series might have to wait quite a while, because New York is going nowhere fast with their bloated payroll and roster full of aging/regressing/injured players. A mix of poor decisions, bad luck and lack of aggression have caused the Yankees to fall precipitously since 2017.
So what are the Yanks to do in the offseason? They didn't buy (or sell) at the trade deadline. They have a number of players hitting free agency, but will still be stuck with a high payroll and precious few players projected to take promising steps forward in their development. They have holes at catcher, third base and left field at this very moment. Come the offseason, center field will be another, and their depth will still remain underwhelming.
Do the Bombers need to be realistic with their current standing? Is there really little to no chance they rebound and return to contenders without doing a heavy facelift of the roster?
One New York radio host on the famed WFAN suggested the Yankees trade Gerrit Cole in the offseason to replenish their farm and get back to where they need to be fast. Though this doesn't seem likely, would the Dodgers immediately get involved if the Yankees' front office were to consider it?
Dodgers News: Radio host says Yankees should trade Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller update
Cole has a full no-trade clause and an opt-out clause after the 2024 season, which can be voided if another year and $36 million is tacked onto his current contract, so there are a few complications to overcome in this hypothetical situation.
Just something to think about if the Dodgers miss on Shohei Ohtani ... or sign Ohtani and lose both Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías to free agency ... or if Andrew Friedman is feeling frisky and wants to build a super juggernaut rotation with a combination of Ohtani, Cole and Kershaw/Urías.
In other news grounded in reality, the Dodgers could be getting some much-needed bullpen help back soon. Joe Kelly, who hit the IL recently with elbow inflammation, is already back to throwing, and Shelby Miller is currently on a rehab assignment as he works his way back from a neck injury.
Miller's first rehab appearance didn't go well at Triple-A Oklahoma City, but the man hasn't pitched since June 15, so let's cut him some slack. At the very least, he had a lot of swings and misses despite allowing two homers. As long as he's ready to go by September, the Dodgers will be in a favorable position.
Manager Dave Roberts didn't provide a timetable for Miller, which makes it clear the team will be taking its time with the right-hander. And there's nothing wrong with that, because the pitching staff has gotten back on track after the offense managed to prop it up when it was going through its worst stretch of the season.
What better month to be patient? The Dodgers have been unstoppable in August for four years running and are on a 10-game winning streak at the moment. Miller's got all the time in the world.