With a lineup that’s featured the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy over recent years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have regularly sought a right-handed position player to help provide balance.
Their search has notably resulted in trades for Carlos Ruiz and David Freese, and the signing of A.J. Pollock. Although Bellinger, Muncy and Seager improved against left-handed pitching last season, the Dodgers have again been linked to righty position players.
They were spurned by Anthony Rendon, who favored the L.A. Angels, and reportedly are interested in the switch-hitting Francisco Lindor and Mookie Betts.
In addition to seeking a right-handed batter, the Dodgers also covet a starting pitcher with plenty of MLB experience, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com:
Along with the Dodgers’ desire for an impactful right-handed bat, they would like to add a proven starting pitcher to replace some of the 42 starts they lost with the free-agent departures of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill.
The Dodgers’ need for starting pitching grew in the wake of Hyun-Jin Ryu signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Minnesota Twins luring Rich Hill away. Ryu has produced back-to-back impressive seasons, and Hill has been effective and productive when healthy.
As it stands the Dodgers are tracking to begin the 2020 season with a rotation that’s comprised of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias. It figures to be rounded out by one of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Ross Stripling.
While the Dodgers have starting pitching depth, Maeda regularly has been placed in the bullpen down the stretch of the season and Urias has yet to pitch a full season — a step that was delayed by shoulder surgery in 2017.
Furthermore, Stripling struggled during the second half of what was an All-Star campaign in 2018, and Gonsolin and May are both talented but still-young prospects without a wealth of MLB experience.
On the surface, an answer for the Dodgers would be to complete a trade with the Boston Red Sox for Betts and David Price. In taking on Price’s contract the Dodgers presumably would not need to part with as many prospects as they would in a deal for Mike Clevinger and Lindor.
Additionally, the Red Sox aren’t believed to be as adamant as the Indians are on receiving Gavin Lux in a trade.
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