Dodgers Rumors: Insiders speculate White Sox, Rays blockbusters could define LA's trade deadline

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

With the kind of pedigree the Dodgers are trying to maintain for the foreseeable future, it's no surprise that rumor buzz points to them being big buyers at the trade deadline to supplement their ailing roster (LA has a whopping 13 players on the IL) heading towards an inevitable postseason run.

The problems that were originally projected as LA's biggest concerns at the deadline — bottom of the order, relief arms — are still concerning, but the Dodgers have had a couple more worries piled onto their plate in the last few weeks. Losing Mookie Betts reemphasizes what LA seemed to be viewing as optional before he got hurt: the need for a new shortstop. Losing Yoshinobu Yamamoto should have them exploring starter options.

The bottom of the order is also mostly made up of outfielders; the only one who's been performing at a steady clip all season is Teoscar Hernández, and the Dodgers have already been one of the prime suspects in a costly trade for power-hitting center fielder Luis Robert Jr.

On Tuesday, The Athletic confirmed that the Dodgers are looking at Robert, but added that they're also interested in starter Garrett Crochet, a dominant lefty who kept LA's lineup in check on Monday in Chicago (subscription required). They also reported that White Sox scouts have descended upon the Dodgers', Padres', and Mariners' minor league systems as the deadline looms.

Jeff Passan chimed in later that day to throw out another name to add to the outfield: the Rays' Randy Arozarena, who was briefly connected to the Dodgers as a potential piece of their trade for Tyler Glasnow this offseason (subscription required).

MLB insiders connect White Sox's Luis Robert Jr., Garrett Crochet, Rays' Randy Arozarena to Dodgers as trade deadline candidates

Robert returned from an almost month-long injury absence on June 4 and has been struggling a bit since he returned. His slugging (.476) is still ridiculous, especially compared to his average (.190), and he was on a homer tear at the beginning of the month, hitting five homers over nine games. That kind of power is exactly what LA wants behind Teoscar Hernández in the lineup.

Crochet has been a surprise breakout this year for Chicago, having moved from the bullpen at the beginning of this season. He's pitched 94 1/3 innings for a 3.05 ERA, and he shut out the Dodgers over 5 2/3 innings on Monday. He could slot in nicely between Bobby Miller and James Paxton in the Dodgers rotation, sending Landon Knack into a six-man spot (which feels like the most likely option for the starter-happy Dodgers) or back to Triple-A. Of course, Crochet's innings will likely have to be limited, too, before the year is through, coming off injury in 2022-23.

Robert and Crochet have been popular names in all of the deadline buzz, but Arozarena is a new one. One of baseball's gods of aura had two terrible back-to-back months, batting .112 in April and .178 in May, but he's been on the up-and-up and looking like his usual self in June, batting .292 with a .896 OPS. It would probably take a lot for the Rays to let him go; they're 39-40, but not totally out of the Wild Card picture, and Arozarena still has two years of team control left. Of course, when arbitration costs rise, you can be sure the Rays will seek out the trade market. It's just how they operate.

Any one of these players would be huge gets for the Dodgers. The only question is how much they'd have to give up for them. With White Sox scouts confirmed to be looking to mine potential buyers' farm systems, LA could see the loss of more than a few top prospects if one or more of these deals actually work out. While that always threatens the possibility of another Michael Busch situation, adding a few more stars to the big league lineup could work wonders on reenergizing things this time in the second half.