Dodgers Pitching Options at the Trade Deadline
As the official trade deadline expires in a couple of hours, the Dodgers find themselves playing their best baseball of the season even without their starting ace Clayton Kershaw. Currently only 2 games back of the Giants and 2 games up in the Wild Card, the Dodgers are currently buyers in the market as they try to make one last roster adjustment before the playoff push. While there are lots of positional needs that the Dodgers could use an upgrade, the one clear need that the Dodgers will have to acquire at the trade deadline is added depth to the starting rotation. Below I examine two players that should be at the top of General Manager Farhan Zaidi’s priority list.
Sonny Gray #54
Judging by his current numbers this season, getting Sonny Gray would be a steal for the Dodgers if they are able to acquire him. While he has struggled this season with an ERA of 5.84 and a 5-10 overall record, Sonny Gray has been one of the more consistent pitchers over the past couple of years as he has posted a career 2.83 ERA prior to this year and has been in the conversation as a Cy Young award finalist over the past few years. Gray has shown the ability to get batters out through a variety of pitches as he has the power to blow pitches past batters as well as painting the corners of the plate. In addition to his proven track record, Sonny’s contract makes him even more appealing looking beyond this year. Currently Gray is scheduled to make $527,500. While Gray will certainly demand more than his current salary, at least for the short term rental, the Dodgers will not need to spend an arm and a leg. Gray would sure up a starting rotation that needs another solid option for the Dodgers to keep up their momentum.
Julio Teheran #49
Since becoming a full time starter in the 2013, Julio Teheran has enjoyed success in the majors with a 3.24 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. While his overall win/loss record may appear to tell a different story, a main reason that he doesn’t have more wins is due to the lack of run support provided by the Braves. Out of all the starters in baseball, Teheran has the lowest run support at 2.62 a game as he must virtually be perfect each time he steps on the mound. Statistically, Julio is having the best season of his young career with a 2.81 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Similar to Gray, Teheran has a variety of pitches to get batters out. From a fastball, curveball, screwball and change-up, what makes Teheran successful is his ability to mix up his velocity on pitches and keeping batters guessing as to what he will throw next. With opponents batting a mere .205 versus Teheran, adding him would be a solid pickup for the Dodgers as he would compete for the number one or two spot with Kershaw out of the lineup.
The Dodgers have to move forward this year with the idea that Kershaw will not be able to return due to his back injury. Given that reality, The Dodgers have a surplus of outfielders and prospects at their disposal to get one of these great pitching arms that can vastly help the Dodgers chances of making a run in the playoffs and overtaking the Giants for the division crown. With only 2 months to go before the post-season, adding one of these players could be the difference between another first round exit or contending to represent the N.L. in the World Series.