By: Enrique Medina
Now with almost a full month of baseball played, it has been safe to say the Dodgers have came out firing on all cylinders and looked motivated as ever to win a 7th straight NL West Division title. Even with a month close to set in the books their have been early indicators of some potential needs for the ballclub to try and reach its full potential. With that said here are a few very early trade candidates the Dodgers should consider.
1.) Shane Greene
The Tigers’ closer, Shane Greene has shown amazing signs at the start of the 2019 season that he has the potential to have an amazing year closing out ball games. Greene in 2018 was very up and down at times showing signs of being a dominant closer, while at times showing just how hittable he can be. In 2018, Greene posted a 5.12 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP and 4.61 FIP, converting 32 save opportunities during the season. Meanwhile to start the 2019 season Greene has started off very strong, aiming to improve to what was a very roller coaster of a 2018 season in Detroit. Through 12 appearances early on in the season Greene has converted 10 saves, currently leading the American League to go along with a 1.50 ERA and a very impressive 0.58 WHIP. Greene could be a very nice addition to the bullpen. Someone who could potentially help close out ballgames down the stretch to share the load of work with Kenley Jansen or someone who can be Jansens set up man. As things have gone in the past, the bullpen has always seemed to look like something the Dodgers could improve on and making this move would surely help and make lots of sense. With Greene to be a free agent for the upcoming season on a rebuilding team like the Tigers, it should be a very good option for the Tigers to deal him for the upcoming trade deadline and in the Dodgers’ case may not come at an extremely huge cost.
2.) Kelvin Herrera
Herrera, now with the Chicago White Sox has been one of the most steady relievers over the past few season both in Kansas City and his time spent with the Nationals. In 48 appearances last year, Herrera compiled a 2.44 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP in his time spent in Kansas City and Washington. Herrera is very versatile in the fact that he has closed ball games before and has worked as a mid relief pitcher in his career. Herrera unlike Greene has had postseason experience as well before in his career back in his days with the Kansas City Royals who made back to back world series’ in 2014 and 2015, so he knows what it means to pitch in meaningful filled ball games in October. Herrera may come at a higher cost for the Dodgers though after signing a 2 year contract with Chicago this past offseason, but he presents a very reliable late arm option who has had experience in the postseason before.
3.) Marcus Stroman
Certainly the most unlikely of the 3 trade candidates, but Marcus Stroman definitely presents a lot to like for the Dodgers. Stroman, now 27 to turn 28 beginning in May, has a career 3.82 ERA , 1.28 WHIP, and 42 career wins in 113 starts. Stroman did struggle in 2018 where he had a 5.54 ERA, a 4-9 record, and 1.47 WHIP, but he definitely has learned over his experiences over the years and definitely has room to improve. Stroman most probably well known for his dominating performance in the World Baseball Classic in the USA’s clinching victory over Puerto Rico has had experience pitching in big games. He has made a few postseason starts in his time in Toronto in 2015 and 2016. Stroman has shown a lot of promise and improvement though over this past offseason, really looking to bounce back off a very disappointing 2018 season, a year after he finished 8th in AL Cy Young voting and winning a Gold Glove in 2017. To start off 2019, Stroman has had 5 starts posting a 1-3 record, recording a 1.76 ERA, currently 3rd in the American League. Stroman can be a very valuable starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler come down the stretch and for a potential postseason run. In LA too, he is bound to have more run support, which could make his numbers potentially look better. There is many things to like with Stroman as he is only getting better after a bad 2018 and is looking to prove doubters wrong this season. Stroman will undoubtedly come at an extremely high cost though compared to any of the other 2 players mentioned before because of his young age and him not hitting free agency until 2021.
The Dodgers front office have showed willingness to step out of their comfort zone and go for it all before with last years trade for Manny Machado and 2017’s deal that brought Yu Darvish. Could they possibly go for it again? Only time will tell depending on the team’s needs as the season progresses. Each of these 3 players provide valuable depth to the pitching staff which seems to be having someone injured very frequently and at times may not be all too consistent though. Each of these 3 players are definitely players that can be key contributors and important pieces the front office should consider.