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Wheeling n' Dealing in The West - Dodgers and Padres


Tim

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The National League West is looking like it will be a battle to the end. Maybe even to the death ? Ok, not that far.

The first place San Francisco Giants have been the surprise team in baseball this season. It's a great story as they've been able to hold off the Dodgers and Padres, two teams many had as the favorites to battle for the National League pennant. 

I like the Giants. Gabe Kapler seems like a cool manager with his cool shades, they've pieced it together without a true star, and you cant forget they have sweet uni's. As much as I like them, they aren't going to hold off the Dodgers and Padres. 

The Dodgers (1 GB) are the defending world series champions and the front office has constructed this roster to go back to back in 2021.

The Padres (4.5 GB) are the new team on the block. The most exciting team in baseball and the flashy young star in Fernando Tatis. The Padres General Manager, Aj Preller, was extremely aggressive this past offseason pushing all the chips in the middle to take down the Dodgers.

Both teams are built to win now and have world series hopes.

Both teams happen to be struggling with pitching. 

Now before you jump down my throat, this is a hypothetical scenario and just a mythical piece of writing that some kid whipped up on the couch today.

Ok, Let's get into it.

 

Dodgers

Los Angeles bolstered the rotation this past offseason, signing the reigning Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to a 3 year / 102 million dollar deal. Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard that he doesn't treat women with the most respect. He's been placed on the commissioners list and it doesn't sound like he's coming back anytime soon.

Adding insult to Trevor's horrible decisions, Clayton Kershaw was recently placed on the Injured list with what's being called a "sore right forearm" . That's typically not what you want to hear in baseball when it comes to pitchers, and we don't want to speculate.  He could be back in a week for all I know. The point is they are down 2 of their top starters who happen to be 2 Cy young winners.

Now, the bullpen. Closer Kenley Jensen has been fantastic with a 1.27 ERA, but he's a free agent after this season and is going on age 34. Joe Kelly has bounced back this season with a 3.86 ERA, but has a 12 million dollar team option following the season and the Dodgers aren't picking that up. Newly signed Blake Treinen has been just what they hoped for with a 2.78 ERA in 36 games. Looks pretty good right? Statically these 3 have been great. They also all happen to be right handed, have less han 2 years remaining on their current deal or have an option that won't be exercised. Throw in the fact they all are 34 next year. Not exactly spring chickens.

Victor Gonzalez, the only trusted lefty out of the pen this year, just went on the IL. His timetable for a return is unclear at this point. Prior to that he had a 5.06 ERA in his previous 8 outings. 

They need a lefty reliever and they need someone to potentially fill in for 1 or both of their 2 top starters. Like, right now.

 

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Dodgers - Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers

Self explanatory after what we just broke down. They acquire 2 controllable assets through next year and fill glaring holes in the pitching department as they chase another ring. I'd assume the Dodgers are going to treat the Bauer situation like he's not apart of the team, until, well he is. Truthfully no one knows when that might be and no one knows what long term repercussions will result from the situation. Jose Berrios isn't Trevor Bauer, but he's a better and cheaper option, than anything you can acquire at the deadline or this upcoming offseason. Taylor Rogers is the shutdown lefty they don't currently have. Younger and Controllable through next year, Rogers gives the team payroll flexibility, fills empty an empty bullpen spot next year and enables them to move on from whatever long-term commitment a 34 year old Jensen might command.

Twins - Dustin May, Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson

Prior to going down with Tommy John in the spring, Dustin May was on his way to becoming an ace. The 23 year old had a 2.74 ERA with 35 K's in 23 IP. That seems good. Personally I don't care if you have to wait until the middle of next season if you get a pitcher of this caliber, who ill say again, is 23.. . Fun kicker, he's controlled through 2026.  The Dodgers are giving up a lot in May but they can't wait and need reinforcements now. Ryan Pepiot has been on every "name to watch" prospect report since May. He's lit up AA with a 1.73 ERA in 41.2 IP to go along with 57K's.. Pepiot's fastball works around 93-95, with his changeup being the best pitch. He wasn't really stretched out much early in the season but in his last 2 starts he's gone over 6 innings twice, might be to boost trade value or for their personal use, not sure. Andre Jackson is currently at AA right now and is a bit older of a prospect being 25. He's got a 3.78 ERA, with 63 K's in 50 IP. 

 

Padres

If you want to talk about a team that's built to "win-now", your in luck. The Padres have dealt away pretty much half the farm system in the past 365 days to build an all-star rotation. Now im embellishing, they still have a ridiculously good farm system. But in the past year they have added Yu Darvish, Jose Musgrove, Blake Snell, and Mike Clevinger. This is a team that already had the top pitching prospect in all of baseball being Mackenzie Gore. We can't forget Ryan Weathers, Dinelson Lamet, and Chris Paddack. Talk about an embarrassment of riches. So much depth they cant fail, wait......

Clevinger is currently recovering from Tommy John. Blake Snell has been absolutely horrible. Failing to pitch over 5 innings in all but 1 of his last 7 starts. He currently has a 6.60 ERA in his last 30 IP to pair with 19 BB's, and is thought to be headed to the IL as he's struggled to "build strength" following his last start. Dinelson Lamet is on the IL with forearm issues after dealing with a setback. Ryan Weathers is on a 120 inning limit and currently at 60.1 IP. Chris Paddack allowed 9 runs last night and has a 7.71 ERA over his last 7 starts... Maybe Mackenzie Gore can step in? He's got a 5.85 ERA at AAA.

Things are tough in slam diego.

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Padres - Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers

In an offseason of all-in moves, why stop now? I've read reports about them potentially going after Joey Gallo of the Rangers, but if the pitching is this bad, you can't splurge when you have a lineup that's more than capable of scoring runs already. Jose Berrios gives them a durable, reliable, starter behind the 1-2 punch that is Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. Taylor Rogers anchors the setup role in the bullpen that can be safely handed over to Mark Melancon in the 9th. Hoarding prospects isn't really an option for a team that is so committed to winning and Aj Preller has never shied away from doing so. The Padres ease their pitching concerns with this deal.

 

Twins - Robert Hassell, Ryan Weathers, Justin Lange, Brayan Medina

The headliner for the Twins is outfielder Robert Hassell. MLB.com has him as the no. 62 prospect in all of baseball and he's going to sky rocket in upcoming years. Through 51 games at low A, "bobby barrels" as Padre fans refer to him as, owns a .379 OBP, .297 AVG, .843 OPS, and 19 stolen bags. This is also his first taste of pro ball, as he's only 19. Ryan Weathers isn't a bad no. 2 return in this deal either. The lefty has a 3.02 ERA through 10 starts and 16 games this year at the major league level and he's only 21. He works in the mid 90s with a solid curve and slider to back it up. Justin Lange is a 6'4, comp. round selection from 2020. Having a 65 grade fastball and wipeout slider, Lange may be more of a project but the potential if he reaches his ceiling is worth it. Brayan Medina is actually my favorite piece of this deal. Medina is a 6'1, 180lb, 18 year old who already is working in the mid 90s. He looks to have the control and delivery to stick as a starter. Similar to Lange, he may be a bit of a project but from a few reports I've read, some scouts think he could move through the system quickly with his  advanced control.

 

These teams are desperate. It's not often the top starter on the trade market has control beyond this year. There also aren't too many controllable dominant lefty relievers laying around either.

 

Let me know what you guys think about these 2 options.

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Either trade would be pretty good...even though I'm not overly eager to trade Berrios/Rogers.  As a Twins fan #1 and a Dodgers fan #2 I would be O.K. with the Dodgers deal.  Berrios is durable and dependable.  May is coming back from Tommy John surgery.  And Rogers gives the Dodgers a dependable LH arm out of the bullpen who could possibly close in 2022.  However, even though the trade adds up in San Diego's favor, I like Hassell and Weathers.  THAT would be a trade that (I can't believe I'm saying this) would be HAPPY with.  Weathers is just 21.  Hassell is just 19.  These are guys you can build around for years.  The other two are good filler with "potential."  I'd make this trade.

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I would say no to either deal. I'm not in the total rebuild camp and thats what these trades are. Another 2-3 years of bad teams waiting for young pitchers to advance with no experienced #1 to show them the way sounds like long losing summers.

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54 minutes ago, Karbo said:

I would say no to either deal. I'm not in the total rebuild camp and thats what these trades are. Another 2-3 years of bad teams waiting for young pitchers to advance with no experienced #1 to show them the way sounds like long losing summers.

We are losing now, and even if they return, I expect this team to lose next year too unless the entire pitching staff is gutted and the FO is able to rebuild it completely in ONE offseason.  That will cost alot of money.  If this team is bad again next year it just pushes the entire process back another season.  This is going to happen one way or another in the next 1.5 years, so do it now.  If the FO tries to patch this thing together the same way they have in the past and it fails again...you will have one pissed off fan base.  Ohh, and the team defense needs an overhaul too.

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I would do either deal, and I would be happy to do it.

I also really like the idea of packaging our players together in these trades. By packaging guys together, we're more likely to get higher caliber prospects back. When looking at the prospects/players we'd get in return, I'd rather focus on quality over quantity.

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Kudos Tim!  Of all the trade proposals on TD,  these sound like win-wins.  Frankly, in my own blog(retool or rebuild), I was opposed to trading any premier pitching talent, as that is obviously our biggest weakness and by doing so, you can pretty much forget contending in the next year or two.  But my faith in Falvine's acumen in retooling on the fly for next season has been badly shaken.  It doesn't help we have an ownership that has never demonstrated a desire to take risks by providing more $ for top trade pieces or FA, and the FO's failures(to date) in spotting undervalued talent, so it very well might be a better idea to pass on 2022 contention if near-major league talent becomes available.

But either of these two trades would likely bring back young, controlled pitching.  I love May and Weathers.  If the FO decides(soon I hope) that Berrios cannot be resigned, then trading to one of these two win-now teams would provide a much-needed boost to the Twins future rotation.  I find it hard to believe after their splurge this past offseason that either team is in need of pitching, but you nicely state this strange turn of events and why they might bite.  

I doubt the Pods or LA would give up that much talent but if so, I would jump on it!  Chances of either of these deals happening <5%.  I just don't believe Falvey has the guts to do it, even if he could get such a return.

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I live in LA and I do think the Dodgers are in an interesting position with Baauer‘s future completely up in the air. I could see them trading for Berrios but I think they would have a hard time giving up Dustin May. What do you think about taking that same deal, have the Twins give up Berrios but not Rogers, and getting back Tony Gonsolin, Pepiot and Gavin Lux? Two pitchers and a SS? 

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1 hour ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

I live in LA and I do think the Dodgers are in an interesting position with Baauer‘s future completely up in the air. I could see them trading for Berrios but I think they would have a hard time giving up Dustin May. What do you think about taking that same deal, have the Twins give up Berrios but not Rogers, and getting back Tony Gonsolin, Pepiot and Gavin Lux? Two pitchers and a SS? 

i'm a believer in Lux, would do that deal.

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You definitely think bigger than I do.  I think the Dodgers would have a tough time making that deal especially since they really seem to love May.  They would have to like Berrios more than May to do that deal and I am not sure they would.  Freedman always wins the trades he makes and he would have a tough winning that one.   I think he would look to give up more future assets than close to ready but if the Twins could wrangle those two players out of the Dodgers I would do it.

Piepot Looks in line with WInder and Balazovic which could give the Twins trio of young frontline starter to go along with May.  That could look pretty special in 2023 and beyond.

I don't love the San Diego trade but if the Twins can't keep Buxton then that trade certainly has value as well.  

Both trades feel well thought out and bold for both sides.  I doubt they happen but love your ideas on these two.

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Of all the buying teams out there, these are the 2 teams with perhaps the best combination of win-all mentality and top level pitching prospects, in fact, almost an embarrassment of riches.  Both teams would certainly improve their chances in the playoffs by adding these two proven players.

Looking at the Dodgers first,  I think a combination of May, Lux and some AA type prospect like Jackson would be a solid yield.  With Seager returning, Lux will be relegated to the bench, making him more available now than before.  The question is: defensively, how good is he at SS?  As May is highly prized by LA, perhaps a package like LA Fan proposes(Lux, Gonsolin and Pepiot) would also work well.  Big problem here is Friedman hates to give up top prospects.  So this is a low probability trade scenario.

The Pods also could greatly benefit by the Twins duo.  A trade package around Weathers and Paddack, plus a lower level guy Tim mentioned, like Medina, would greatly boost the Twins rotation as soon as next year.  While Paddack and Weathers have been highly rated by the Pods, Weather's injuries and Paddack's ineffectiveness, along with Preller's innate desire to think big, could get this done.  The big downside here:  would Falvine be up for this high risk trade?  

In any case, I feel that Berrios and Rogers might be more available in the right deal than many of us believed.  The fact that the FO made an offer to Buxton now, and not Berrios or Rogers, indicates these latter two are looked at as more immediate trade chips now.  Just speculation of course, but if Falvine could get either of these type of packages, he should go for it.

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I agree that the Padres are more likely to give up real assets for Berrios than the Dodgers. I live in LA and the Dodgers really tend to prize and hold onto the prospects they think are going to be long term MLB players. They have the budget to simply go out and buy what they need so they don't feel quite as much need to trade prospects for proven talent. I think it's going to be very hard to pry Dustin May away from the Dodgers. They see him as the number two starter behind Walker Buehler as early as 2023 when Clayton Kershaw is retired and/or living in Texas. Gavin Lux might be possible but right now the Dodgers are planning to have him play shortstop after Corey Seager potentially walks away in free agency after this season given that Scott Boras is his agent. The Padres might be the better trade partner right now.

I did want to follow up on a point made by another poster indicating that it was telling the team made an offer to Buxton but not to Berrios or Rogers. Do we know that to be the case? I am more curious than anything because I would suspect that they have offers out to all three, or at least I would hope so because it would help provide clarity as to what they should do going forward. Has anyone read anything about that from a reasonably trustworthy source? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

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I've GOT to believe the Twins have offers out to BOTH Buxton & Berrios (and I would suspect Rogers as well).  I've thought long and hard about this and if I had to choose between keeping Buxton or Berrios...I keep Berrios.  The Twins will not be contenders until their pitching improves...A LOT.  Plus, they are SO used to playing WITHOUT Buxton.  I do not give Buxton away.  But he's who I move (especially if 5-years and $100 million isn't enough).  The Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Braves, could ALL be interested in Buxton.  And despite the Dodgers aversion to giving up "prospects" now that they finally won a World Series last year (their first since 1988 !!) the pressure is even greater to win again.  May has great upside, but Berrios would help them win NOW (as would Buxton and Rogers).  Seager ain't going anywhere.  The Dodgers will PAY HIM.  Lux, if his "D" is O.K. would step right in at SS.  The Padres with Weathers, Hassell, Paddock have all sorts of interesting players.  The Yankees are as big a disappointment as the Twins this year and do you think Yankee's fans have the "patience" Twins fans do ???  With the demand/need for players like Buxton/Berrios/Rogers we could actually end up getting MORE than we would think for them, because each would be a difference maker wherever they go.

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I’d take the dodgers trade. With San Diego I’d replace Hassell with Gore. I don’t care how he’s pitching right now. He’s a stud and that’s who you want. If I can’t have Gore then I want Abrams. The twins absolutely do not need another outfielder. Especially one who’s so far away at this point. If I’m having to trade Berrios and Rogers I don’t want an outfielder as the centerpiece. You’ve either got to have a potential elite SP or the potential elite SS. If we get the SS Royce Lewis goes to centerfield. If we get the SP Lewis still goes to CF. Cause let’s be honest. That’s his destiny. Unless Buxton signs the long term deal in which case Lewis is still playing half the season there anyways

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I could get on board with swapping Hassel for Gore.  To compete going forward the Twins MUST pitch better.  Gore is worth taking the risk you could get him to throw strikes consistently.

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I would love to see the Twins get May and either Lux, Peipot or Gray for Berrios. I would even throw in Robles to "help" the Dodgers bullpen. If they want Berrios and Rogers, we need to get back May, plus Lux, Gray or Gonsolin, and a solid relief prospect like Bruihl or Jackson.  A starting pitcher, starting SS and decent upside MiLB pitcher. 

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I doubt  you are going to see either May or Lux in the deal.  Dodgers FO does not trade major prospects unless they are sure they cannot develop into very good players/superstars.  I am guessing they are offering 3 - 4 lower prospects for Berrios, good players but less certain items.

I would love to get Lux or May, but doubt this would happen.

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One other note, Rodgers departed last night with a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand.  That will probably end all deals of this type. 

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