The Dodgers and Angels need pitchers. Here are 10 possible trade options for them
The Dodgers, who lost Dustin May to season-ending elbow surgery, Clayton Kershaw to left forearm tightness and Trevor Bauer to a Major League Baseball-imposed administrative leave in the wake of a sexual assault investigation into the right-hander, are in dire need of starting pitching.
So are the Angels, who could have a prolific offense when Mike Trout returns from a right calf strain but have a weak rotation that ranks 25th in the major leagues with a 5.06 ERA, 28th with 426 2/3 innings pitched, an average of about 4 2/3 innings a start, and 25th with a 1.38 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning).
With nine teams clearly out of playoff contention coming out of the All-Star break, there should be no shortage of “sellers” before the July 30 trade deadline.
But with five American League teams within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot and two National League teams within 6 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot, there should be no shortage of “buyers,” which could make the competition for highly sought-after players fierce.
With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 starting pitchers, with varying degrees of availability, that the Dodgers and Angels could target in trades this month:
Jose Berrios (Minnesota Twins, RHP)
Berrios, 27, is 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 18 starts, with 114 strikeouts and 31 walks in 108 2/3 innings, and he has an electric four-pitch mix that includes an 83-mph curve and a 94-mph sinking fastball. He is signed for an affordable $6.1 million this season and is under club control through 2022, so it would take a highly attractive package of prospects for the Twins to part with him.
Kyle Gibson (Texas Rangers, RHP)
Gibson, 33, is having the best season of his nine-year career, going 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 17 starts, striking out 88 and walking 31 in 102 innings. He throws six pitches, leaning most heavily on a 92.5-mph sinking fastball and 83-mph slider. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Gibson is in the second year of a three-year, $28-million deal that pays him $9 million this season and $7 million in 2022.
It will cost them a lot of money and could lead to legal action, but the Dodgers can’t wait any longer. They need to get rid of Trevor Bauer immediately.
German Marquez (Colorado Rockies, RHP)
The Rockies will be reluctant to part with their ace because he is only 26 and in the third season of a relatively affordable five-year contract. The deal pays him $11 million in 2022, $15 million in 2023 and includes a club option for $16 million in 2024. But Marquez would be worth pursuing — he is 8-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 19 starts, striking out 114 and walking 42 in 112 1/3 innings, and mixes a 95-mph fastball with an 86-mph slider and 85-mph curve.
Michael Pineda (Minnesota Twins, RHP)
Pineda, 32, is 3-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 12 starts, with 55 strikeouts and 15 walks in 61 1/3 innings. He has pitched once since returning from a three-week stint on the injured list because of elbow inflammation, giving up five earned runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the White Sox on July 7. His fastball velocity is down a tick, from 92.1 mph in 2020 to 90.9 mph this season, but he’s relatively affordable, with a $10-million salary, and will be a free agent after this season.
Tyler Anderson (Pittsburgh Pirates, LHP)
Anderson, 31, isn’t overpowering, his repertoire consisting of a 90-mph fastball, 85-mph cut-fastball and 81-mph changeup, but he is cheap — he is signed for $2.5 million this season and will be a free agent in 2022 — and reliable. Anderson is 5-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 17 starts, striking out 80 and walking 24 in 97 1/3 innings, and he has posted a 2.66 ERA in his last four starts, striking out 15 and walking four in 23 2/3 innings.
Danny Duffy (Kansas City Royals, LHP)
Duffy, 32, is 4-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 12 games, with 62 strikeouts and 21 walks in 57 innings, and he has a 68-68 career record and 3.95 ERA in 11 seasons. In five starts since missing five weeks of May and June because of a left flexor strain, he’s given up seven earned runs in 15 1/3 innings for a 4.11 ERA. Duffy makes $15.5 million and will be a free agent in 2022. He mixes a 92-mph fastball with a slider, sinking fastball, changeup and curve.
Jon Gray (Colorado Rockies, RHP)
Gray, 29, has bounced back from a rough 2020 season to go 6-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 80 and walking 35 in 86 innings. He went 2-4 with a 6.69 ERA in eight starts last season. Gray mixes a 94.5-mph fastball with an 86.5-mph slider, 87-mph changeup and an occasional 76-mph curve. With a $6-million salary and free agency looming this winter, he shouldn’t cost too much to acquire.
Matthew Boyd (Detroit Tigers, LHP)
Boyd, 30, has been out since mid-June because of triceps tendinitis, but an MRI test revealed no structural damage. If he can return from the injured list or make a minor league rehabilitation start or two this month, he could be an attractive trade option. Boyd, who mixes a 92-mph fastball with an 81-mph changeup and an 81-mph slider, is 3-6 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 56 and walking 19 in 70 2/3 innings.
Daron Sutton said his removal was “100% without incident” and unrelated to any disciplinary action. He called the majority of the Angels’ games this season.
Charlie Morton (Atlanta Braves, RHP)
The Braves are four games out in the NL East, but if a season-ending knee injury to slugger Ronald Acuna Jr. causes them to slip further in the standings, they could trade Morton, the 37-year-old veteran who is owed about $7 million on his one-year, $15-million deal. Morton is 8-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 18 starts, striking out 114 and walking 33 in 99 innings, and he has been dominant in his last five games, going 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA with 39 strikeouts and seven walks in 33 innings.
Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals, RHP)
This is a longshot, but if the Nationals, who are six games back in the NL East, fall out of contention, they could be tempted to kick-start a rebuild by trading the three-time Cy Young Award winner who is 7-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 17 starts, with 134 strikeouts and 22 walks in 98 innings. Scherzer, who turns 37 on July 27, is making $34.5 million in the final season of his seven-year, $210-million deal, and will be a free agent this winter. Another potential hurdle in a deal: Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, has hinted that the pitcher wants a contract extension in exchange for waiving his rights to veto a trade.
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