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Dodgers Dugout: Examining the trade deadline deals

Joey Gallo takes his place among the Dodgers.
Joey Gallo takes his place among the Dodgers.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and that was a relatively uneventful trade deadline for the Dodgers.

Before we discuss what the Dodgers did and didn’t do at the trade deadline, let’s take a look at what the main NL playoff contenders did:

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Dodgers: Acquired reliever Chris Martin from the Cubs for utility-man Zach McKinstry.

Acquired outfielder/DH Joey Gallo from the Yankees for pitching prospect Clayton Beeter.

Traded 3B/OF Jake Lamb to Seattle for future considerations.

Traded right-handed pitcher Mitch White and infielder Alex De Jesus to Toronto for right-handed pitcher Nick Frasso and left-handed pitcher Moises Brito.

Traded left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger for outfielder German Tapia.

San Diego: Acquired outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell from Washington for first baseman Luke Voit, left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore (Padres’ No. 4 prospect), shortstop C.J. Abrams (Padres’ No. 1 prospect), outfielders Robert Hassell III (Padres’ No. 3 prospect) and James Wood (Padres’ No. 5 prospect) and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana (Padres’ No. 8 prospect).

Sent first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Max Ferguson (Padres’ No. 11 prospect), outfielder Corey Rosier (Padres’ No. 26 prospect) and cash to Boston for left-handed pitcher Jay Groome. With Soto and Bell, there was no spot for Hosmer in San Diego. He was originally part of the Soto deal, but vetoed that trade. The Padres replaced him in that deal with Voit.

Acquired infielder Brandon Drury from Cincinnati for shortstop Victor Acosta (Padres’ No. 13 prospect).

Acquired closer Josh Hader from Milwaukee for left-handed pitchers Taylor Rogers and Robert Gasser (Padres’ No. 14 prospect), outfielder Esteury Ruiz (Padres’ No. 25 prospect) and right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet.

With these moves, the Padres have gone all in on winning this season. They traded four of their top five prospects and five of their top 10 for Soto and Bell, and when they day was done, ended up trading eight of their top 15 prospects. You don’t do that unless your plan is to win now.

Keep in mind, the Padres will also get Fernando Tatis Jr. back at some point, perhaps later this month. They will have a formidable lineup. But, as the weekend series sweep by the Dodgers shows, not an overwhelming one. And the Dodgers have better pitching overall. Hader is having a Kimbrel-like season this year. Craig Kimbrel is 3-4 with a 4.15 ERA, Hader 2-4, 4.00. Kimbrel has allowed more baserunners, but Hader has given up seven homers to Kimbrel’s one. Hader has blown two saves, Kimbrel three. Hader has allowed zero of four inherited runners to score, Kimbrel one of three. Hader is having a better season, but it’s not the slam dunk many would have you believe.

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Philadelphia: Acquired right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard from the Angels for outfielders Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sánchez. Syndergaard becomes their No. 3 starter.

Acquired right-handed pitcher David Robertson from the Cubs for right-handed pitcher Ben Brown. Robertson provides a valuable bullpen arm.

Acquired outfielder Brandon Marsh from the Angels for catcher Logan O’Hoppe. Gee, I’m glad I don’t have to write an Angels newsletter.

Atlanta: Acquired right-handed pitcher Raisel Iglesias from the Angels for right-handed pitcher Jesse Chavez and left-handed pitcher Tucker Davidson. Iglesias becomes a key set-up man for Atlanta.

Acquired right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi from Houston (no relation) for left-handed pitcher Will Smith. A reliable starter who will replace Ian Anderson in the rotation for a reliable reliever who has been struggling.

Acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman from Detroit for left-handed pitcher Kris Anglin. Grossman is hitting .350 against left-handed pitching and .149 against right-handers.

Acquired infielder Ehire Adrianza from Washington for outfielder Trey Harris. Adrianza was with the Braves last season.

St. Louis: Acquired left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery from the Yankees for outfielder Harrison Bader. Montgomery gives a boost to the Cardinals’ injury-plagued rotation.

Acquired catcher Austin Allen from Oakland for right-handed pitcher Carlos Guarate. Catching depth for the Cardinals.

Acquired left-handed pitcher José Quintana and right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton from Pittsburgh for right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo and third baseman Malcom Nuñez. In his first start with St. Louis, Quintana gave up one hit in six innings.

New York Mets: Acquired first baseman Darin Ruf from San Francisco for third baseman J.D. Davis, left-handed pitchers Thomas Szapucki and Nick Zwack and right-handed pitcher Carson Seymour. Mets wanted a right-handed bat, and they got on in Ruf, who is a lefty-killer.

Acquired right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens from the Cubs for right-handed pitcher Saúl González. Givens provides bullpen depth.

Milwaukee: Acquired right-handed pitcher Trevor Rosenthal from San Francisco for outfielder Tristan Peters. This is like the Dodgers acquiring Danny Duffy last season. Rosenthal hasn’t pitched at all this season, but the Brewers hope he will.

Acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Bush from Texas for infielder Mark Mathias and left-handed pitcher Antoine Kelly. Bullpen depth for the Brewers after mysteriously trading Hader.

As you can see, a lot of deals around the trade deadline.

So what were the Dodgers thinking?

Well, would you have given up Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Andy Pages, Miguel Vargas, Maddux Bruns and Gavin Lux or Dustin May for Soto and Bell? That is the basic equivalent of what the Padres gave up. I’d rather have those guys and a chance to win every year. You may think differently, and that’s fine. The Dodgers obviously have what it take it win it all this season. So do a handful of other teams, including the Padres. But the Dodgers are a virtual lock for the division title and first-round bye, meaning the Padres will have to win a best-of-three series to advance to the second round. The Padres’ top three hitters will be Soto, Manny Machado and Tatis. The Dodgers’ top three hitters are Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner. Pretty evenly matched. The Dodgers have made big trade deadline deals frequently, and did not win the World Series. They did not make a big trade deadline deal in 2020, and won the World Series.

As for the other deals...

There are several players coming off the 60-day IL soon (hopefully). Blake Treinen, Dustin May, Edwin Ríos, Walker Buehler. Perhaps Tommy Kahnle and Danny Duffy. That requires clearing spots on the 40-man roster for those guys. Which partially explains the trades of White and Cleavinger. White pitched well when he filled in for various injured Dodgers. He had a 4.28 ERA in 15 starts over two seasons. Interestingly, he never got a win, going 0-6, mainly because he averaged 4 1/2 innings per start. Cleavinger was way down in the bullpen depth chart. So, this opens up two spaces on the 40-man roster, and the Dodgers sent White and Cleavinger to places they will get more playing time. Andre Jackson and Ryan Pepiot will more than likely fill in for any injured Dodgers starters the rest of the season. Though it would have been interesting to see if they would have traded White if they knew Clayton Kershaw was going to be injured.

Acquiring Gallo and then trading Lamb is interesting. Gallo is hitting .187/.329/.419 over the last two seasons. But the Dodgers think they can tweak something in his swing. He has some power but strikes out a lot. Lamb was hitting .239/.338/.433 and is a better hitter than Gallo at this point. These two deals make sense only if they can turn Gallo around.

So, all the trade deadline deals did was help teams increase their chances of reaching the postseason. That’s all. Beyond that, nothing is guaranteed. And you never know when something unexpected will happen to make the best laid plans...

Clayton Kershaw injured

If it’s August, it must be time for one of Clayton Kershaw‘s twice-yearly injuries. Kershaw felt something lock up in his back while warming up between innings during Thursday’s game. He has been put on the 15-day IL, but an MRI revealed nothing unexpected. The hope is he will be back before the playoffs. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The Dodgers also put Yency Almonte, one of their best relievers this season, on the 15-day IL with elbow tightness. He was replaced by Andre Jackson.

Peter O’Malley on Vin Scully

Former Dodgers team owner and president Peter O’Malley was kind enough to send along some thoughts on Vin Scully:

“Vin and I connected in the fall of 1956 when the Dodgers made a Goodwill Tour to Japan. Everyone on the trip including the players had a roommate and my dad asked Vin if I could room with him. Vin’s polite response was “of course” so we were roommates for three weeks in Japan. He was the young announcer and I was in college. After that trip when we would see each other during Spring Training at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida he’d say ‘Hey roomie, what’s happening?’ Imagine being called ‘roomie’ by Vin Scully.

“We were all very fortunate to have Vin as the voice of the Dodgers for so many years but for me it is Vin the man that I will always remember and admire. Rather than sadness at his passing my focus is on what this most trusted, genuine gentleman gave us all. He was the finest role model and inspiration anyone could have.”

Peter O’Malley, President, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1970-1998

Ross Porter on Vin Scully

Ross Porter, the longtime broadcast partner and friend of Vin Scully, sent along his thoughts:

“I lost a dear friend and my most important mentor with the passing of Vin Scully. It was Vin who chose me to join the Dodger broadcasting team in 1977. In the 28 seasons we were together in the booth, we never had one argument or dispute between us and the only advice he ever gave me was to stay out of the Dodgers front office and not get caught in any political infighting. Not once did he suggest that I make a change in the way I was announcing games.

“Vin may be the kindest person I’ve ever known. In all the years we were together, not once did I see him rude to another human being. And there were plenty of opportunities for him to be upset by pushy fans who wanted an autograph, a photo, or a lengthy, dull conversation, some times within a few minutes of going on the air.

“It was always my opinion that Vin Scully was the most popular man in California and could have been governor of the state. He was given that opportunity.

“The chairman of one of the two major political parties in California asked Vin to have lunch with him many years ago. At that meeting, the politician told Scully he was the choice of his party’s leaders to be nominated without opposition for governor.

“Vin told me he immediately knew he was not interested in the offer, but out of respect for the chairman, thanked him and said he would like 24 hours to consider the invitation. Then he declined.

“Laughingly, Vin recalled the day and said, ‘The man who offered me an opportunity to become governor of California never knew I was not a member of his party, but in the rival party.’”

Ross Porter, longtime contributor to this newsletter, can be found answering questions and relating stories like the above on his Facebook page, Ross Porter Sports.

What Vin Scully meant to you

Thanks for the overwhelming response. They will start appearing in the next newsletter on Friday.

That’s pretty good

I’m not a mathematician, but since June 28, the Dodgers have gone 30-5 and from 1.5 games up in the NL West to 16 games up. And while it doesn’t guarantee a title, it certainly is an enjoyable way to get to whatever the eventual destination is.

The last two weeks

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

James Outman, .462/.563/.846, 2 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBIs
Hanser Alberto, .353/.353/.471, 2 doubles, 5 RBIs
Justin Turner, .333/.500/.333, 3 at-bats, 1 RBIs
Freddie Freeman, .314/.383/.392, 4 doubles, 9 RBIs
Gavin Lux, .311/.360/.444, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 7 RBIs
Trea Turner, .310/.312/.535, 4 doubles, 3 homers, 8 RBIs
Mookie Betts: .302/.338/.556, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 8 RBIs
Will Smith, .294/.351/.490, 4 doubles, 2 homers, 12 RBIs
Max Muncy, .268/.326/.488, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 6 RBIs
Trayce Thompson, .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 2 homers, 4 RBIs
Miguel Vargas, .250/.250/.375, 8 at-bats, 1 double, 2 RBIs
Cody Bellinger, .244/.271/.600, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 11 RBIs
Jake Lamb, .222/.300/.296, 2 doubles
Austin Barnes, .211/.250/.263, 1 double, 2 RBIs
Joey Gallo, .200/.200/.200, 2 for 10
Chris Taylor, .100/.100/.200, 1 for 10, 1 double, 2 RBIs
Zach McKinstry, 0 for 3, 3 walks
Tyler Anderson, 0 for 1

Team: .282/.336/.471, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 16 homers, 6 runs per game.

Starting pitchers

Andrew Heaney, 0.71 ERA, 12.2 IP, 9 hits, 6 walks, 14 K’s
Julio Urías, 1.38 ERA, 13 IP, 11 hits, 0 walks, 10 K’s
Tyler Anderson, 2.37 ERA, 19 IP, 12 hits, 5 walks, 10 K’s
Mitch White, 3.00 ERA, 6 IP, 9 hits, 0 walks, 4 K’s
Clayton Kershaw, 3.86 ERA, 9.1 IP, 11 hits, 1 walk, 7 K’s
Tony Gonsolin, 3.94 ERA, 16 IP, 15 hits, 6 walks, 15 K’s

Relievers

David Price, 0.00 ERA, 6.1 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 K’s
Evan Phillips, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 2 hits, 1 walks, 7 K’s
Alex Vesia, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 8 K’s
Yency Almonte, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Caleb Ferguson, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 K’s
Reyes Moronta, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 K’s
Hanser Alberto, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 K’s
Phil Bickford, 1.42 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 K’s
Chris Martin, 2.25 ERA, 4 IP, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 K’s
Jake Reed, 3.38 ERA, 2.2 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s
Craig Kimbrel, 5.40 ERA, 5 IP, 6 hits, 3 walks, 5 K’s, 3 saves
Garrett Cleavinger, 21.60 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Team: 11-3, 2.23 ERA, 125 IP, 96 hits, 31 walks, 112 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)
*Tyler Anderson
Phil Bickford
*Caleb Ferguson
Tony Gonsolin
*Andrew Heaney
Andre Jackson
Craig Kimbrel
Chris Martin
Reyes Moronta
Evan Phillips
*David Price
*Julio Urías
*Alex Vesia

*-left-handed

Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (6)
Hanser Alberto
Freddie Freeman
Gavin Lux
Max Muncy
Trea Turner
Miguel Vargas

Outfielders (5)
Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
Joey Gallo
Chris Taylor
Trayce Thompson

Up next

Tonight: Minnesota (Joe Ryan, 8-4, 3.67 ERA) at Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 11-6, 2.57 ERA), 7 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Wednesday: Minnesota (Sonny Gray, 6-3, 3.19 ERA) at Dodgers (TBD), 7 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

*-left-handed

Stories you might have missed

Rehabbing pitcher Dustin May sets sights on his return to Dodgers. But when?

Hernández: Dodgers’ dominance means only one thing — they must win the World Series

Plaschke: Dodgers honor Vin Scully with a perfect and powerful Blue Heaven homage

Photos: Dodgers honor legendary broadcaster Vin Scully in pregame ceremony

Vin Scully through the eyes of four artists

Al Michaels on how Vin Scully inspired him: ‘I can’t think of anyone more important’

And finally

The Dodgers pay tribute to Vin Scully in a pre-game ceremony before last Friday’s game. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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