Dodgers stack their cart ahead of deadline, must put some players aside
There can be fallout to mega trades, an awkward and uncomfortable midseason adjustment.
The Dodgers completed their 13-player, three-team trade Thursday. Now when they return to Dodger Stadium Friday, there are going to be some sad faces around the clubhouse. And plenty of new ones.
Seven players came to the Dodgers, including starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alex Wood, from the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves, and none left from their 25-man roster.
That creates the kind of logjam — on both the active 25-man roster and 40-man roster — that is going to require the exit of some familiar faces.
Some dominoes already have fallen. Veteran Mike Morse, acquired with Latos from Miami, was designated for assignment, along with right-hander Brandon Beachy, outfielder Chris Heisey and reliever Chin-Hui Tsao.
The required 25-man roster moves — the Dodgers are adding four players: relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, along with Latos and Wood — will not be announced until Friday. And still more moves could come before Friday’s 1 p.m. PDT nonwaiver trade deadline.
“We’re continuing to have conversations now,” Dodgers President of Baseball Andrew Friedman said Thursday night. “I don’t want to talk about the trade deadline in the past tense yet.
“We feel good about what we’ve done to date, but we’re by no means sitting back and kicking our feet up and exhaling. We’re still going and having conversations and working through things.”
The Dodgers open a three-game series against the Angels on Friday, a key series in that both teams are struggling to remain atop of their divisions. Friedman said he expects Latos to start Sunday.
Although the Dodgers have failed to land an elite starting pitcher — David Price (Detroit to Toronto), Cole Hamels (Philadelphia to Texas) and Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati to Kansas City) — Friedman said he has confidence in a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Latos and Wood.
“We feel like every day with our rotation, we have a chance to win,” he said.
A casualty of the new additions was right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who Friedman said had already been told he was being dropped from the rotation. After the Dodgers lost Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu for the season to surgery, Bolsinger claimed one of the rotation spots. In 16 starts, the curveball specialist had a record of 5-3 with a 2.83 earned-run average, but he struggled to last beyond the fifth inning in games.
Now Bolsinger probably won’t even be on the 25-man roster. The Dodgers need to open at least four spots. Zach Lee will undoubtedly be returned to triple-A, with Bolsinger and possibly reliever Yimi Garcia joining him. That still leaves one difficult cut, and both Scott Van Slyke and Enrique Hernandez have options left.
Also coming from the Braves was highly regarded infielder Jose Peraza, whom the Dodgers sent to triple-A Oklahoma City, and veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He had Tommy John surgery last year.
The Dodgers have managed to keep all their top, and even second-tier, prospects. The biggest loss was infielder Hector Olivera, signed just last May to a $62.5-million contract. He went to the Braves along with reliever Paco Rodriguez. The other Dodgers in the deals were all minor-league pitchers.
“We feel we’ve solidified our bullpen, we lengthened our starting pitching options and think we’re in better position than we were a couple of days ago,” Friedman said.
He added he had so many conversations with teams it’s become a challenge to remember them all.
“I’m not even positive I could recite the three-way trade we made right now,” he said.
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