Dodgers Dugout: Is Chris Archer headed to L.A.?

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and every year during trade deadline week I remember the time I was crushed that the Dodgers traded Jim Wynn and Tom Paciorek to Atlanta for Dusty Baker. But that trade turned out OK.

Chris Archer headed this way?

With the non-waiver trade deadline less than a week away, the rumor mill is heating up, with one of the top rumors being the Dodgers trading for Chris Archer of Tampa Bay. It is believed that Archer can be acquired without giving up one of the big four prospects the team would like to keep: Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo. Some key facts about Archer:

1. Archer is a 27-year-old right-handed starter with Tampa Bay who is signed through 2019 (for $18 million total) with team options for 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million). So he is a reasonably inexpensive pitcher under team control for five more seasons.

2. He is 37-45 in his career with a 3.56 ERA and finished fifth in Cy Young voting last season after going 12-13 with a 3.23 ERA and  252 strikeouts in 212 innings. His career ERA+ is 109, WHIP is 1.225 and he strikes out more than a batter an inning.

3. He is having his worst season this year, with a 4.60 ERA and a 5-13 record. He does lead the AL in strikeouts, however, with 147 (in 123 innings).

So would it be a good deal? Well, of course it depends on what they give up, but Archer has been a good pitcher until this season. My gut tells me they won’t trade for him, but this is a pitcher with a high upside who could be a good No. 2 or No. 3 in the rotation.

Anyone else headed this way?

The Dodgers have been linked to trade talks with Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Sale and Josh Reddick. Let’s look at those players individually:

Chapman: Take him off the board. The Yankees traded him to the Cubs. The Dodgers are pleased with their bullpen and it is unlikely they will get any big-name help there.

Bruce: This is the type of player that wouldn’t cost many, if any of the team’s top prospects and would give the team a power-hitting outfielder. Bruce is hitting .269 and slugging .547 with Cincinnati, hitting 21 homers. He averages 31 homers over a full season, but strikes out a lot. He’s sort of like Joc Pederson with a higher batting average and fewer walks.

Lucroy: I don’t think the Dodgers are really that interested in Lucroy. The front office has always been high on Yasmani Grandal, who has recently emerged from his season-long slump by hitting .308 with six homers in July.

Gonzalez: People look at the Colorado outfielder’s gaudy power numbers and swoon, but Gonzalez is slugging .613 at home and .438 on the road in his career. Plus, it’s unlikely that the Rockies would trade him to a division rival.

Sale: Even though he has been suspended five games for poor behavior, Sale will still command a boatload of prospects to pry him away from the White Sox. Sale has finished in the top five in Cy Young voting each of the last three years and is a favorite this season. I don’t think the Dodgers will pay the price required to get Sale.

Reddick: The A’s outfielder doesn’t have the pure power of Bruce, and I just don’t see the Dodgers really wanting him.

So, I can see the Dodgers getting Archer and Bruce and the odds are good they will acquire at least one of them. If they acquire Bruce, that gives them an outfield of Kendrick/Toles in left, Pederson in center and Bruce/Puig in right. Of course, they may just end up including Puig in the package to acquire Bruce.  If they acquire Archer, they have a rotation of Kershaw (I hope)/Archer/Maeda/Kazmir/McCarthy.

Strange question

I still get several emails a week from readers who say the Dodgers have no chance to win the World Series because they don’t have anyone like Zack Greinke. This disappoints me because it means I obviously missed all those World Series parades from the time he was with the team.

Just for fun

The 12 best Dodgers this season according to WAR:

Clayton Kershaw, 4.6

Corey Seager, 3.7

Justin Turner, 3.3

Kenley Jansen, 1.9

Kenta Maeda, 1.9

Chase Utley, 1.4

Joe Blanton, 1.4

Joc Pederson, 1.3

Adrian Gonzalez, 1.2

Adam Liberatore, 1.2

Yasmani Grandal, 1.1

Howie Kendrick, 0.9

The 12 worst

Carl Crawford, -0.9

Chris Hatcher, -0.7

Mike Bolsinger, -0.6

Will Venable, -0.3

Bud Norris, -0.3

Austin Barnes, -0.2

Nick Tepesch, -0.2

Hyun-jin Ryu, -.0.2

Brock Stewart, -0.2

Zach Walters, -0.1

Micah Johnson, -0.1

Julio Urias, -0.1

The magic number

Each week I will look at a uniform number a current Dodger is wearing and go through the history of that number with the Dodgers. When I was a kid and went to games, I was always curious who wore the number of my favorite players. Then again, I was a strange kid. For “best Dodgers to wear the number,” only the stats a player compiles while he was with the team and wearing that number count.

Next up is:

No. 36 (Adam Liberatore)

Best Dodgers to wear No. 36: Don Newcombe (1949-58), Frank Robinson (1972), Rick Rhoden (1974-78), Greg Maddux (2006, 2008).

Before I get to the list of the other Dodgers to wear No. 36, I want to point out that it is a real shame that the Dodgers haven’t retired Don Newcombe’s number. Newcombe was an important figure in breaking baseball’s color barrier, and was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young and MVP award in the same year when he went 27-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 1956. He also was Rookie of the Year in 1949. The Dodgers’ policy of only retiring the number of players who make the Hall of Fame is too strict, as kids who go to the games today should see Newcombe’s number. Some of those kids would ask their parent who Don Newcombe is, and the rich legacy of his standout work with the Dodgers could live on. The occasional bobblehead is nice, but fleeting.

Others to wear No. 36 with the Dodgers: Dykes Potter (1938), Max Macon (1940), Frenchy Bodagaray (1943), Ed Stevens (1947), Preston Ward (1948), Chuck Connors (1949), Steve Bilko (1958), Roy Gleason (1963), Lerrin LaGrow (1979), Pepe Frias (1980-81), Steve Shirley (1982), Matt Young (1987), Jose Gonzalez (1985-88), Mike Morgan (1989-91), Todd Benzinger (1992), Ricky Trlicek (1993), Noe Munoz (1995), Scott Radinsky (1996-98), Angel Pena (1999-2001), Omar Daal (2002), Daryle Ward (2003), Edwin Jackson (2003), Jeff Weaver (2004-06, 2009-10), Lance Carter (2006), Roberto Hernandez (2007), Danny Ardoin (2008), Blake Hawksworth (2011), Matt Magill (2013).  

What Vin Scully means to me

I asked you to tell me your best Vin Scully memory, and I got a lot of responses. I will publish selected ones in each newsletter. And keep emailing them to me.

Maria Marrone: The grandson of Vin Scully attended the same elementary school as my children.  One of my sons, Tommy, had to do a report on someone they admired and he chose Jackie Robinson.  I approached the mother of Vin's grandson and asked if she would pass my phone number on to Vin and maybe he could call Tommy and answer a few questions he had about Jackie.  Well, sure enough the phone rang about three days later and my husband answered the phone.  "Is Tommy there?" the voice on the other end asked.  When my husband said, "Yes, and may I ask who's calling?", the voice on the other end responded, "Vin Scully!" My husband almost dropped the phone. 

I sat next to Tommy as he asked him questions about Jackie and took notes and whispered questions to Tommy for him to ask Vin.  Vin spoke loud enough for me to also hear him through the receiver, so it was easy to take notes for Tommy while he interviewed Vin. 

Tommy got an A on the paper and I photo-copied it and attached a thank you note and gave it to Vin's grandson's mother to pass on to Vin.  About a week later, Tommy received a handwritten note from Vin congratulating him on the A paper. What a cool guy.

The TV situation

If you would like to complain about the Dodgers’ TV situation, you have three options: The Dodgers, Time Warner Cable and whatever local cable or satellite provider you have that doesn’t carry the Dodgers. Here’s who to contact:

For the Dodgers, click here or call (866) DODGERS ([866] 363-4377). (I hope you like form letters).

For Time Warner, click here.

For DirecTV, call (800) 531-5000 or click here.

For your local cable or satellite provider, consult your bill for the customer service number and for the website.

And finally

Vin Scully has a funny line after an umpire takes a foul ball to the worst place possible. Listen to it here

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston

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