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Dodgers Dugout: Some possible trade deadline deals

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
(Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and here the Dodgers are, two games behind the Giants and about to play them.

The Dodgers head to San Francisco for a three-game series starting tonight. Just think, after those two terrible, no good, very bad losses to the Giants, the Dodgers could be in first place on Friday.

Or they could be in third place, five games back. But let’s not be defeatists. Some people see the glass as half full, some see it as half empty. I see it as a chance to fill up the glass again and enjoy more of a delicious beverage.

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The Dodgers and Giants have played each other 13 times this season, with the Dodgers winning seven times. After Thursday, they play each other only three more times, all in San Francisco in early September. These games are crucial not only because you can pick up or lose a game in the standings, but also because if they end up tied for the division lead, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record.

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The last Dodgers Dugout was really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really long. My apologies, but there was a lot to talk about. This week’s will be much shorter, and instead of me rambling on, we’re going to talk about what others are writing about the Dodgers.

Trade deadline

The trade deadline is Friday at 1 p.m. PT. And it is especially key this season because the August waiver period no longer exists, which means the only way a player gets traded after Friday is if they are not on the 40-man roster, or are on it and are designated for assignment. Which means, no big August trades like the one the Astros made in 2017 for Justin Verlander. Or the deal in 2018 when the Dodgers got David Freese. Or the one in 2017 when the Dodgers got Curtis Granderson.

Mike DiGiovanna talked to Andrew Friedman about the deadline, and here are some tidbits from the story, which you can read by clicking here:

“We could find ourselves in a position [in August] where we end up short on the starting pitching front, so we’re trying to get ahead of that,” Friedman said. “There’s still a question of exactly who’s going to end up moving, but I feel good that we’ll be in a position to be aggressive if and when something makes sense.”

The Dodgers are pursuing ace-caliber starters such as Washington’s Max Scherzer (7-4, 2.83 ERA), Minnesota’s Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.48 ERA) and Colorado’s German Marquez (8-7, 3.50 ERA), and mid-rotation starters who can provide better depth over the final two months of the season.

The latter group could include pitchers such as Texas’ Kyle Gibson (6-3, 2.87 ERA), Pittsburgh’s Tyler Anderson (5-8, 4.35 ERA), the Angels’ Alex Cobb (7-3, 3.82 ERA), the Cubs’ Zach Davies (6-6, .430 ERA), Colorado’s Jon Gray (6-6, 3.67 ERA), Minnesota’s Michael Pineda (4-5, 3.93 ERA) and Kansas City’s Danny Duffy (4-3, 2.51 ERA).

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Starting pitching is “the most front-of-mind thing,” Friedman said, with Scherzer, the 37-year-old right-hander who could be available with the Nationals eight games out in the NL East, and Berrios believed to be among the top targets.

Friedman “wouldn’t rule out” a trade for a middle reliever. With Mookie Betts and Corey Seager expected back from injury in early August, he is not expected to trade for a position player.

Trevor Bauer

The hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order against Bauer would stay in effect was postponed until early August after the sides argued they needed more time to review recently-disclosed evidence.

DiGiovanna wrote an interesting story about Bauer, that also serves as a timeline as to the thinking behind the Dodgers acquiring him and what happened that led to him being placed on administrative leave. You can read it here. But, for me, the most telling paragraph is this one:

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“Bauer’s career is in jeopardy, and his stay with the Dodgers could be over, the sexual-assault allegations having turned a pitcher in his prime into a pariah in his own clubhouse, where no teammate has spoken publicly about him or come to his defense. Two people with knowledge of Dodgers clubhouse dynamics, who are unauthorized to speak publicly about the situation, said that a majority of players do not want Bauer back under any circumstances.”

Again, this newsletter is not the place to convict or exonerate Bauer, but it certainly seems as if he has pitched his last game for the team.

Injury Report

Scott Alexander (10-day IL, left shoulder inflammation): Alexander has had shoulder problems all season.

Cody Bellinger (not on IL, tight left hamstring): He pinch-hit on Sunday and could be back Tuesday. He has been taking ground balls at first base, with the thinking it would be less stressful on his hamstring.

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Mookie Betts (10-day IL, right hip inflammation): The Dodgers were playing a man down for a few games while hoping Betts’ hip would recover. They finally decided to put him on the IL.

Clayton Kershaw (10-day IL, elbow inflammation): He will pitch a simulated game today. Depending on how he responds, he could be activated or sent for a rehab assignment.

Corey Knebel (60-day IL, right lat strain): Knebel began a rehab assignment at triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday.

Gavin Lux (10-day IL, strained left hamstring): He has been doing exercises but no timetable for his return has been announced.

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Corey Seager (60-day IL, broken hand): Seager must have had a setback last week, because he went from “about to be activated” to “playing more simulated games in Arizona.” At this point you almost have to be surprised if he comes back instead of expecting it.

Jimmie Sherfy (10-day IL, right elbow inflammation): He was put on the IL the day after giving up two runs to Colorado.

Caleb Ferguson, Tommy Kahnle and Dustin May are all recovering from Tommy John surgery and are out the rest of this season. Edwin Rios had shoulder surgery and is also out for the rest of the season.

Up next

Tonight: Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 12-3, 3.63 ERA) at San Francisco (Logan Webb, 4-3, 3.54 ERA), 6:45 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

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Wednesday: Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 10-1, 2.31 ERA) at San Francisco (Anthony DeSclafani, 10-4, 2.87 ERA), 6:45 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Thursday: Dodgers (*David Price, 4-0, 3.35 ERA) at San Francisco (Johnny Cueto, 6-5, 4.09 ERA), 12:45 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

*-left-handed

And finally

Vin Scully on how a player survived a wolf attack. Watch and listen here.

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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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