Longtime Dodgers reliever heads to Yankees in surprise trade (we should've seen coming)

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Norm Hall/GettyImages

For all of the fanfare of this past weekend's DodgerFest, there may have been one conspicuous absence that now has an explanation: Caleb Ferguson. About half of the players on the Dodgers' 40-man roster were in attendance at the main events at Dodger Stadium, as well as charity events hosted by Chris Taylor (a polar plunge at Manhattan Beach) and Mookie Betts (a bowling tournament in downtown LA). Ferguson was notably absent during both.

Maybe it was because Ferguson was busy packing his bags to switch coasts as, per Jon Heyman, he's the centerpiece of a trade with the Yankees in exchange for two prospects yet to be named. Fellow insider Joel Sherman notes those prospects will be a "faraway prospect who has pitched in the Dominican Summer League the past few years and a Quadruple-A type pitcher."

Per Heyman, that "Quad-A" player is Matt Gage, recently claimed by the Yankees after the Astros DFA'd him (to add Josh Hader).

Caleb Ferguson, absent at DodgerFest this weekend, traded to the Yankees in exchange for prospects

Ferguson is a career Dodger; he was taken by the team in the 38th round of the 2014 June Amateur Draft and has pitched 207 1/3 major league innings for them since 2018 after a slow ascent through the minors. After a very promising 2022 season with 34 2/3 innings pitched and a 1.82 ERA, the Dodgers gave him the ball more often in 2023. He pitched 60 1/3 innings, the most in his career so far, for a less ideal 3.43 ERA.

The Yankees, who also received Victor González from LA this offseason, will add Ferguson to a bullpen they're looking to rebuild after they sent three arms to San Diego in their half of the trade for Juan Soto. The Dodgers are reportedly still looking for bullpen arms, so this could be another roster-clearing move akin to the one that sent Michael Busch to Chicago in early January.