Dodgers Trade Rumors: Will the Dodgers acquire a wipeout Lefty?

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Brad Hand
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Brad Hand /

As the Dodgers dominate Major League Baseball with a 71-31 record, it is difficult to pinpoint a weakness. With the trade deadline looming the Dodgers trade Rumors have entailed that the Dodgers will acquire a wipeout lefty.

Despite dominating the NL West and the MLB as a whole, interesting Dodgers trade rumors have emerged around the best team in baseball.

Grant Dayton and Luis Avilan have been the organization’s most utilized left-handed relievers in 2017. Avilan has appeared in 43 games – most on the team – and pitched to a serviceable 3.41 ERA whereas Dayton has made 29 appearances with a 4.94 ERA, highest on the team. Though the team just called up Edward Paredes, who earned the win in his lone outing, his track record is not phenomenal and there is a reason that the 30-year old spent his career in the minor leagues up to this point.

Based on this performance, number one on the club’s wishlist is a left-handed relief pitcher. The club needs a relief pitcher that can instill fear in the hearts of opposing batters that they will surely face in the playoffs: Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy on the Washington Nationals; Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs; Jake Lamb of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But who is available? Rumors have Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles on the market; he set an American League record with 55 consecutive saves but was recently on the disabled list and has been shelled in his last few outings.

Tony Watson of the Pittsburgh PIrates is said to be available; he is reliable and has a nice track-record, but the Pirates are working their way back into contention and may not part with the bargain-priced lefty. Justin Wilson of the Tigers has earned the closer role this year and pitched very well – he is a definite possibility as the Tigers have already begun their rebuild by trading J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier in the month.

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The name that is potentially the most intriguing is the San Diego Padres’ Brad Hand. Hand is a 27-year old that spent time with the Miami Marlins before figuring things out with the Padres in 2016, ending the season with a 2.92 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

He’s improved upon those numbers this year – he currently sports a 2.08 ERA and 0.98 WHIP to go along with 67 strikeouts in 52 innings – and is the closest thing to a wipeout lefty on the trading block. It will be a tough acqiusition, however, as the price tag is said to be bordering unfathomable.

The rumors stated that San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller demanded outfield stud Alex Verdugo in a package for Hand. Verdugo is widely considered a Major League-ready bat, and vaulted up to number 28 on the latest MLB Pipeline rankings.

Though the Dodgers were burned in 2015 by not trading prospects for major league talent (see: Julio Urias for Cole Hamels/ Johnny Cueto/ David Price), their stout farm system provides a reservoir for the big league club. The front office of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi would be loathe to see Verdugo have the same impact of Cody Bellinger or Corey Seager with a different organization – especially one with whom they share the same division.

The Dodgers are on a historic pace this season, and could only improve by adding a wipeout lefty and listening to the latest Dodger trade rumors. Brad Hand fits that mold, but will the Dodgers pay the price to acquire the arm in the bullpen? The trading deadline hits at 4pm EST on July 31st. Until then, the negotiations will continue – as will the Dodgers trade rumors.