Dodgers Trade Rumors: Adam Kolarek Acquired From Rays For Niko Hulsizer

UPDATE (July 31, 2 p.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced their trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, acquiring left-handed relief pitcher Adam Kolarek.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have cemented themselves as one of the best teams in baseball, but their bullpen has struggled mightily in 2019. Even after a turnaround June and solid July, the Dodgers’ bullpen still ranks near the middle of Major League Baseball in ERA and FIP.

Outside of the Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez and Julio Urias trio, Dodgers relievers have constantly underwhelmed. Joe Kelly is slowly turning things around after a disastrous start to his Dodgers career.

Scott Alexander remains on the 10-day injured list, Tony Cingrani underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last month, while Caleb Ferguson has been inconsistent, and Zac Rosscup struggled before getting traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

After weeks of speculation that he would make a move to bolster the bullpen, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman appears to have done so by acquiring reliever Adam Kolarek from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Niko Hulsizer , according to Robert Murray of The Athletic:

#Dodgers acquiring Adam Kolarek from #Rays in exchange for Niko Hulsizer, sources tell The Athletic.

— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 31, 2019

Kolarek went 4-3 with a 3.95 ERA, 4.54 FIP and 1.22 WHIP in 54 games. The southpaw has been tough on left-handed batters, which should fill a void in the Dodgers’ bullpen. Kolarek remains under team control through the 2025 season.

Hulsizer was selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2018 Draft. He debuted with Rookie-level Ogden and has spent time this year with Low-A Great Lakes and High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Hulsizer hit a combined .265/.376/.554 with 23 doubles, 20 home runs and 67 RBI.

Leading up to the July 31 trade deadline, Friedman twice stated that while the Dodgers would aggressively pursue potential deals, they would not do so recklessly.

L.A. was connected to Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Felipe Vazquez, New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, and San Francisco Giants southpaws Will Smith and Tony Watson. The Dodgers ultimately didn’t meet the Pirates’ demands for Vazquez, and he was not traded at the deadline.

The deal involving Kolarek was the second of the day between the Dodgers and Rays, as Minor League catcher Rocky Gale was previously sent to Tampa Bay in exchange for cash considerations.