MLB Trade Deadline: Dodgers Need Pitching to Win it All


Jul 24, 2023

The Dodgers are an absolute machine. When it appeared that this could be a retooling year in spring training, given the expected amount of young prospects with the big club, they are 57-41 and first in the NL West. A four-game lead in the division has them as -800 favorites, while they are +190 to win the National League, narrowly behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. They are also second in the odds to win the World Series.

Here is how the Dodgers should handle the MLB trade deadline to put them in the position to win a title.

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Team Review

Injuries have greatly defined the Dodgers’ season, especially in the starting rotation. Dustin May has been lost since mid-May and will be out for the rest of the season. Clayton Kershaw has been out for three weeks with his return not seeming imminent, with Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin having each spent extended time on the Injured List while dealing with regressions this season. Noah Syndergaard and Ryan Pepiot are expected back on the mound soon. Still, regardless, they could use another rotational piece as Michael Grove, Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, and Emmet Sheehan haven’t emerged as they hoped. 

In the bullpen, they’ve lacked consistency. Brusdar Graterol has been the highlight and most reliable arm they have. Evan Phillips, Caleb Ferguson, and Shelby Miller have also been dependable, but another elite arm is needed for the Dodgers to live up to their championship expectations. 

Offensively, the Dodgers have done an excellent job inserting their youth but still are very top-heavy. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman lead the way and are two of the best hitters in baseball. They’ve enjoyed an excellent bounce-back season from JD Martinez, while Max Muncy provides some welcomed power despite a frustrating batting average. Will Smith has also given solid production, but after those listed, any position could be upgraded.

The Verdict

The Dodgers are so confident in their farm system and developmental programs that prospects have been extremely expendable to them. No price has been too high for a player that increases their championship odds. With starting pitching in demand across baseball, the Dodgers’ most pressing need, they’ll need to overpay for an arm. They’ve been linked to the White Sox’s Lucas Giolito the most, but any starting pitcher is on the table for the Dodgers. 

Could Shohei Ohtani Get Traded to the Dodgers or Giants?

Their most significant need at the plate will be a right-handed bat, ideally in the outfield, unless an elite talent becomes available at a different position. They have a hole at third base, so if the Cardinals go crazy and make Nolan Arenado available, the Dodgers would be willing to meet their price for him, as we saw in recent seasons with their Manny Machado and Trea Turner acquisitions. James Outman will remain in the outfield, but finding someone other than aging Jason Heyward and David Peralta would be ideal. An elite outfield doesn’t appear available, so someone like Washington’s Lane Thomas would be an excellent addition, but cheaper options could be Teoscar Hernandez or Brent Rooker.

All odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook

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Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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