Dodgers Dugout: One trade down, more to go?

Zach McKinstry
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and prepare yourself today and tomorrow for a blitz of trade rumors surrounding the Dodgers.

The trade deadline is Tuesday at 3 p.m. PT. Juan Soto is still available. Shohei Ohtani is still available. J.D. Martinez is still available. Frankie Montas is still available. A host of relievers are still available. Luis Castillo is not available.

The Dodgers have made one trade, sending utility player Zach McKinstry to the Chicago Cubs for reliever Chris Martin.

Martin should be familiar to Dodger fans. In Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS, the Dodgers and Braves were tied, 3-3, going into the bottom of the seventh. Martin gave up a home run to Cody Bellinger with two out and got the loss in a 4-3 Dodger victory. You can watch that here.

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Martin, 36, has a one-year, $2.5-million contract, so he will be a free agent after the season. He has pitched 31.1 innings, and, on the plus side, has struck out 40 and walked only four. On the minus side, he has given up 38 hits and five home runs for a 4.31 ERA. His IRS% is 33.3%, which is about the league average, allowing four of 12 inherited runners to score. He has a 4.10 lifetime ERA in 243 games, with a 34% IRS% and more strikeouts than innings pitcher, but also more hits too. At the moment, he appears to be just another arm for the bullpen.

To make room for him on the roster, the Dodgers sent Jake Reed to the minors.

McKinstry started last season with the Dodgers as the replacement for Kiké Hernandez. He got off to a strong start, hitting .296/.328/.556 with five doubles and three homers in his first 17 games. Then he strained a ribcage muscle in late April. He missed six weeks, and when he came back his bat disappeared, hitting only .173/.230/.327 the rest of the season. He had only 11 at-bats in the majors this season and should get more playing time with the Cubs.

McKinstry said goodbye on Instagram: “I’d like to thank Andrew Friedman, Brandon Gomes, Dave Roberts and the entire Los Angeles Dodgers organization for giving me the opportunity to grow over the past 6 years! The city of Los Angeles will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you all for taking a chance on this 33rd round draft pick with big dreams. Shoutout to all the guys in that clubhouse, you welcomed me with open arms from day one and for that I’m forever grateful! To Chicago… let’s let it rip!! Go Cubs Go!!”


What’s next? Well, anyone who says they can predict what Friedman will do is fooling you. There’s probably one more deal coming, but what it will be? I still don’t see Soto coming here, or Ohtani (I don’t think Ohtani gets dealt to anyone). But another pitcher or two won’t surprise me.

Keep in mind, at some point before the playoffs, the Dodgers should get Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Dustin May and Walker Buehler back. That’s like trading for five guys.

Craig Kimbrel

The Dodgers led 5-2 against the Rockies going into the ninth inning Friday night when Craig Kimbrel came in to close it out. Here’s his inning: Groundout, single, strikeout, single, walk, single (two runs score), fly out. Dodgers win, 5-4, but another less-than-sterling performance by Kimbrel, who threw 30 pitches.

And for the first time, Roberts opened the door (very slightly) to a new closer, saying after the game: “To get three outs and get near 30 pitches just isn’t good enough. And Craig knows that. There’s one outing where he’s efficient, commanding the baseball, getting the swing and miss. The next one we’re up near 30 pitches to get three outs.... He’s our closer. But certainly performance matters – especially at the back end of the game. No one knows that more than Craig.... He’s got to continue to work on some things to be more efficient and be more effective. That’s just facts.”

Kimbrel pitched the ninth again on Sunday. Dodgers led 7-3 so it wasn’t a save situation. He got a fly out, gave up a double, then struck out the last two batters.

James Outman

The Dodgers finally brought James Outman up from the minors, and in his first major league at-bat Sunday, he homered and doubled. He had three hits, two runs scored and three RBIs in the game. The question is, is he up to stay, or are they increasing his trade value? We’ll find out soon enough.

Justin Turner

Justin Turner has been out with abdominal tightness. An MRI showed no structural damage and Roberts said the earliest he will return is Thursday. “We’ve had some testing, nothing is there. But there’s still some sensation and with where he’s at, we don’t need to push him. So if we can kick the can and carry him on the roster at no cost, I don’t see a downside.”



If you pay attention to social media, you will see a lot of rumors the next couple of days. Until a team announces a deal, take everything with a grain of salt. Last year, several places reported the Padres had acquired Max Scherzer. And we all know who actually acquired him. For the best source of Dodgers news on social media, you should be following our Dodgers beat writer, Jack Harris, on Twitter here.

Poll results

We asked if the Dodgers should trade 3-5 top prospects for Juan Soto. After 21,314 votes, here is the result:

No, 74.8%
Yes, 25.2%

The last two weeks

Let’s see how everyone has been doing the last two weeks, through Sunday:

James Outman, .750/.750/1.750, 3 for 4
Hanser Alberto, .455/.455/.636, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs
Freddie Freeman, .359/.447/.615, 4 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBIs
Gavin Lux, .353/.425/.500, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 8 RBIs
Trayce Thompson, .344/.447/.656, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 8 RBIs
Trea Turner, .333/.429/.500, 5 doubles, 2 homers, 5 RBIs
Justin Turner, .333/.429/.500, 6 at-bats
Mookie Betts: .271/.352/.521, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 homers, 5 RBIs
Jake Lamb, .242/.324/.364, 4 doubles, 1 RBI
Cody Bellinger, .184/.244/.421, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 8 RBIs
Will Smith, .184/.279/.342, 3 doubles, 1 homer, 6 RBIs
Austin Barnes, .182/.250/.182, 1 RBI
Max Muncy, .139/.238/.194, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs
Zach McKinstry, 0 for 3, 3 walks

Team: .276/.351/.475, 31 doubles, 3 triples, 13 homers, 5.82 runs per game.

Starting pitchers

Tyler Anderson, 0.00 ERA, 13 IP, 8 hits, 2 walks, 10 K’s
Andrew Heaney, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 1 hit, 3 walks, 4 K’s
Julio Urías, 1.38 ERA, 13 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks, 9 K’s
Mitch White, 1.64 ERA, 11 IP, 10 hits, 2 walks, 5 K’s
Tony Gonsolin, 5.73 ERA, 11 IP, 11 hits, 4 walks, 10 K’s
Clayton Kershaw, 6.52 ERA, 9.2 IP, 13 hits, 2 walks, 9 K’s


Caleb Ferguson, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 5 K’s
David Price, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s, 1 save
Yency Almonte, 0.00 ERA, 3.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 K’s
Hanser Alberto, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 K’s
Evan Phillips, 2.25 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 6 K’s
Jake Reed, 3.38 ERA, 2.2 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s
Craig Kimbrel, 3.60 ERA, 5 IP, 8 hits, 1 walk, 5 K’s, 3 saves
Alex Vesia, 4.91 ERA, 3.2 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 7 K’s
Phil Bickford, 6.23 ERA, 4.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 K’s
Reyes Moronta, 10.80 ERA, 1.2 IP, 0 hits, 4 walks, 4 K’s
Garrett Cleavinger, 21.60 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Team: 8-3, 3.03 ERA, 98 IP, 84 hits, 31 walks, 93 K’s

26-man roster

The current 26-man roster. Teams are allowed to carry a maximum of 13 pitchers on the active roster.

Pitchers (13)
Yency Almonte
*Tyler Anderson
Phil Bickford
*Caleb Ferguson
Tony Gonsolin
*Andrew Heaney
*Clayton Kershaw
Craig Kimbrel
Chris Martin
Evan Phillips
*David Price
*Julio Urías
*Alex Vesia


Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (7)
Hanser Alberto
Freddie Freeman
Jake Lamb
Gavin Lux
Max Muncy
Justin Turner
Trea Turner

Outfielders (4)
Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
James Outman
Trayce Thompson

These names seem familiar

A look at how players who were with the Dodgers last season are doing this season for other teams (through Sunday). Click on the player’s name for more detailed statistics:


Matt Beaty, Padres, .108/.175/.189, 7 OPS+, on IL with a shoulder injury

Josiah Gray, Nationals, 7-7, 4.59 ERA, 102 IP, 88 hits, 43 walks, 118 K’s

Kenley Jansen, Braves, 5-0, 3.43 ERA, 39.1 IP, 28 hits, 11 walks, 54 K’s, 24 saves

Joe Kelly, White Sox, 1-2, 5.91 ERA, 21.1 IP, 23 hits, 15 walks, 30 K’s, 1 save

Corey Knebel, Phillies, 4-5, 2.59 ERA, 41.2 IP, 26 hits, 25 walks, 38 K’s, 12 saves

Sheldon Neuse, A’s, .228/.286/.300, 72 OPS+, back in minors


AJ Pollock, White Sox, .236/.282/.352, 79 OPS+

Albert Pujols, Cardinals, .235/.314/.410, 107 OPS+

Luke Raley, Rays, .214/.333/.333, 97 OPS+

Keibert Ruiz, Nationals, .248/.309/.341, 89 OPS+

Dennis Santana, Rangers, 3-6, 4.89 ERA, 38.2 IP, 32 hits, 16 walks, 30 K’s, 1 save

Max Scherzer, Mets, 6-2, 2.09 ERA, 82 IP, 59 hits, 15 walks, 104 K’s


Corey Seager, Rangers, .249/.325/.474, 125 OPS+

Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pirates, .171/.249/.229, 37 OPS+

Edwin Uceta, Diamondbacks, 0-0, 4.26 ERA, 12.2 IP, 8 hits, 6 walks, 7 K’s, back in minors

Andrew Vasquez, Blue Jays, 0-0, 8.10 ERA, 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 Ks, on 15-day IL

Up next

Tonight: Dodgers (*Andrew Heaney, 1-0, 0.47 ERA) at San Francisco (Logan Webb, 9-4, 2.91 ERA), 6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Tuesday: Dodgers (*Tyler Anderson, 11-1, 2.61 ERA) at San Francisco (*Alex Wood, 7-8, 4.11 ERA), 6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, TBS, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Wednesday: Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 10-6, 2.71 ERA) at San Francisco (Alex Cobb, 3-5, 4.06 ERA), 6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Thursday: Dodgers (*Clayton Kershaw, 7-3, 2.66 ERA) at San Francisco (Jakob Junis, 4-2, 2.78 ERA), 12:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020


Stories you might have missed

Dodgers acquire reliever Chris Martin in trade with Cubs

Back in the majors, and back in Dodger Blue, Trayce Thompson is where he belongs


Mariners acquire All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo from Reds for four prospects

Craig Kimbrel’s near meltdown raises the question: Should Dodgers trade for a closer?

MLB to Congress: Without our antitrust exemption, players and fans lose

And finally

Gil Hodges vs. Willie Mays on “Home Run Derby.” Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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