Things are about to heat up.
The 2018 MLB trade deadline season is in the stretch run and the Los Angeles Dodgers are still linked to a lot players ahead of the 1:00PM PST non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday.
Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi are notorious for casting a wide net when it comes to players and potential moves that can make their team better.
So it should come as no surprise that the formidable duo known affectionately as "The Brain Trust," has made plenty of calls to other GMs around the league as they leave no stone unturned in their quest to improve their team's chances of winning the first World Series in 30 years.
The Dodgers solidified their vulnerability at shortstop after the season-ending loss of Corey Seager to Tommy John surgery in April, with the acquisition of Manny Machado after the All-Star Game.
Things have been relatively silent since then, but that doesn't mean the Dodgers are done making moves. Despite their tight budget (if they want to remain under the luxury tax threshold), the Dodgers have been linked to several names, most notably a long list of relievers.
With the deadline looming, we break down the seemingly long list of players the Dodgers are looking at before the non-waiver trade deadline arrives.
Bryce Harper (Updated)
Let's start right at the top with one of the consensus best players in baseball. As previously reported, multiple sources told NBC LA that the Dodgers had checked in on the availability of the Washington Nationals superstar.
Seismic shifts occured late Monday night when MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand tweeted out that the Nationals were indeed making Bryce Harper available and fielding calls from other teams. Something that sources confirmed to NBC LA moments later.
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According to a source, the Nationals are making it known to other teams that Bryce Harper is indeed available.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2018
Now, does this mean that Harper will be wearing a different uniform on Wednesday? No.
Sources still believe that there is a less than 25 percent chance that Harper gets traded, but admit the situation within the Washington organization has become a bit of a mess, and those odds could increase the closer we get to the deadline.
Despite finding themselves one-game below .500 after splitting a four-game series with the Marlins over the weekend, the Nationals are only six-games out of first place in the National League East.
President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo has publicly said that he thinks his team can rebound and put pressure on "two really talented, but young teams ahead of us in the Braves and Phillies."
Both the Phillies and Braves lost three of four over the weekend, and will play the Nationals head-to-head, a combined 16 times over the final two months of the season.
The Dodgers have checked back in on Harper, but if they are determined to stay under the luxury tax threshold, as they have indicated throughout the season, then landing Harper would require some additional moves by the front office in order to make the money work.
The Yankees are in the same boat as the Dodgers, and the Cleveland Indians have actually made the most progress on Harper per reports. However, now that the Bryce Harper sweepstakes has begun, expect a lot of contending teams to acquire about the 2015 N.L. MVP.
Update: As reported by multiple outlets, Rizzo has told the media that "Bryce Harper isn't going anywhere."
With less than three hours left, it appears these talks are dead.
Harper is batting .218 with 25 home runs and 62 RBI on the season.
Iglesias is a name that has popped up in the final hours before the trade deadline. Originally thought he would be difficult to acquire, given his club-friendly contract ($11.4 million for two years) and the fact that he's under control through 2021.
However, per a source, the Dodgers have had discussions with the Reds about Iglesias and see him as a perfect right-handed power arm that could slot in front of Kenley Jansen as the setup man they've been searching for.
The Reds are more interested in trading Matt Harvey after dealing Adam Duvall on Monday night, so seemingly, that's the front office's top priority.
Iglesias has a 2.11 ERA with 49 strikeouts compared to just 15 walks and a WHIP of just 1.000.
Dozier has been a major part of the Twins lineup since 2012. The 31-year-old made the All-Star team in 2015, but once again became the subject of trade rumors as the Twins fell out of post-season contention this season after a surprise playoff appearance last year.
More importantly, Dozier was a Gold Glove winner in 2017, at a position that the Dodgers have struggled with defensively. He is batting .224 with 16 homeruns and 52 RBIs this season.
Axford is a former closer who appeared in 45 games with the Toronto Blue Jays this season. He is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
Over the span of 10 MLB seasons, Axford, a former closer, has recorded 144 saves while bouncing from the Brewers, Cardinals, Indians, Pirates, Rockies, and Athletics.
The Tamp Bay Rays ace is likely the best starting pitcher still available on the market. Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday morning, that the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres were among the teams vying for Archer.
Sources quickly confirmed that report to NBC LA and added that the Dodgers had discussed a package centered around a mixture of MLB players and prospects.
Since that time, the Braves, Cardinals, and Pirates have also joined the pursuit with the Padres seen as the potential frontrunner because of their stacked farm system.
Archer (3-5) has a 4.31 ERA with a 102 strikeouts compared to 31 walks and a 1.385 WHIP on the season.
Another intriguing option out of Tampa Bay is Rays right-handed relief pitcher Ryne Stanek. Sources told NBC LA that the Dodgers have inquired about Stanek who is under team control through the 2023 season.
That means the price tag for Stanek could be high, whether packaged in a deal with Archer, or by himself. Reportedly, the Dodgers sent scouts to Tampa Bay last week to have a look at Stanek, as well as other Rays and Marlins relievers.
Stanek is seemingly the most coveted of the Rays' relievers, but José Alvarado, Sergio Romo, or Hunter Wood could be of interest as well.
Stanek has a 2.43 ERA with 50 strikeouts compared to 18 walks and a WHIP of 1.319 this season.
Kyle Barraclough has been at the forefront of the rumors between the Dodgers and Marlins for almost a month now, and as we approach the deadline, the rumors have only gotten stronger. Barraclough to the Dodgers could very well happen.
At 28-years old, the closer and set up man of South Beach has enjoyed his best season of his four year career. Barraclough blew a save against the Nationals on Saturday, but his ability to get out of tough situations, despite having some inconsistency lately, is undeniable.
The Dodgers could use a pitcher like Barraclough in the back end of the bullpen where he would be the bridge to Kenley Jansen and serve as the emergency closer. Pitchers of his caliber are hard to come by, but in this case, the situation may prove to be too good to be true.
Acquiring Barraclough comes with its fair share of drawbacks. First, he is in the second year of arbitration. In 2017, Barraclough got $1.1 million and after this season, that number will certainly rise.
Second, Barraclough's amazing surface level stats have some pretty ugly follow up numbers. In 2018, he has a 4.14 FIP indicating his current ERA is way better than his play deserves.
As previously mentioned, the Dodgers sent scouts to Tampa Bay to look at Barraclough and other relievers, and the Marlins reciprocated by sending scouts to Double-A Tulsa where they watched the Dodgers No. 10 prospect Yadier Alvarez.
The Marlins have reportedly had interest in the 22-year-old pitcher so expect him to be included in any deal for Barraclough.
Barraclough boasts a 2.45 ERA, a 1.068 WHIP, and a K9 rate of 10.2 all of which has been done in 44 innings
Adam Conley is an effective left-handed pitcher who many consider to be the Dodgers main target from Miami, even over Barraclough.
Conley was drafted in 2011 by the Florida Marlins as a starting pitcher out of Olympus High School back in his home state of Washington.
After many years in the minors, Conley has had a good year in 2018, putting himself on the map as a solid, late-inning lefty specialist.
Acquiring Conley would be a great move for Los Angeles according to many people close to the situation. Conley would serve as a great mid-game reliever or a one out lefty specialist.
Conley is owed the league minimum so his financial impact is virtually non-existent, and he isn't a free agent until 2022. Conley’s age, contract, and years of experience should be enough to make him a great target this year.
Conley own a 3.58 ERA with 32 strikeouts compared to 12 walks and a 1.048 WHIP. His FIP is 3.56.
Steckenrider has not been discussed by the Dodgers lately, despite his name coming up in almost every trade rumor article or wish list.
Steckenrider, is the youngest of the Marlins trio of relievers and, despite that, he is enjoying the best season of the three if you consider all of their stats.
Despite those numbers, Steckenrider is the only one of the three players from The Fish with a FIP under 3. His is at 2.94.
Steckenrider’s biggest issue and drawback is his overall price amidst a good season with cheap team control on his resume in 2024.
However, despite his good seasons, the young and strong reliever has not been rumored very much as a target for the team.
Steckenrider has a 3.33 ERA, with 51 strikeouts compared to 20 walks and a 1.239 WHIP.
One day after trading away second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Boston Red Sox, the Angels have been fielding calls on relief pitchers Blake Parker and Jose Alvarez.
Per a source, Parker is now on the Dodgers' radar and has been succesful the past two seasons. He is a team friendly contract of $1.8 million this season and is under control through 2021.
Parker is another example of what the Dodgers are looking for at the deadline: A right-handed power arm with a high strikeout rate. With 10.17 strikeouts per nine innings, Parker has 55 strikeouts compared to 17 walks and a 1.212 WHIP.
With Keone Kela off the board, Rangers left-hander Jake Diekman is now the most likely relief pitcher to be dealt next.
Although sources told NBC LA on Monday that the Dodgers had an offer on the table for Kela and not Diekman, the team still did its due diligence and scouted some of the othe Texas relievers as well.
Many believer the Dodgers are less interested in adding a left-handed reliever with Julio Urias expected to return from shoulder surgery soon and be inserted into the bullpen. Tony Cingrani and Zac Rosscup are also considered options as well.
Claudio and Diekman are considered lefty specialists, and with Kela off the board, it seems unlikely the Dodgers re-engage talks with Rangers.
Diekman has a 3.79 ERA with 46 strikeouts compared to 23 walks and a WHIP of 1.421.
Two words: spin rate.
Lugo is of interest to many teams, and according to reports, the Dodgers are just one of several teams to inquire about his availability.
The 28-year-old right-hander has a tremendous curveball, and is under team control through 2022. He's also cheap, and seen as a relief pitcher with a strong upside.
However, the Dodgers have hit him well over the last two years, and would have to fight off other rumored teams like the Chicago Cubs to get him. Reports indicate that the Mets would rather trade Devin Mesoraco or Jose Bautista and keep their young arms.
Lugo has a 2.93 ERA with 75 strikeouts compared to 25 walks with a 1.181 WHIP on the season.
The latest news to come out of the Motor City is that the Dodgers are interested in Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Shane Greene.
Both Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe and Anthony French of the Detroit Free Press have reported that the Dodgers have sent scouts both before and after he went on the disabled list to get eyes on Greene.
Greene is seen as a solid back-end bullpen piece that can help bridge the gap to Kenley Jansen. He's been good, not great this season, but he's a high strikeout pitcher with experience as a closer.
Greene hasn't been as sharp this year, with a 4.09 ERA, however, he's still converted 21 of his 24 save chances this season. Greene is a little more costly at $1.95 million, but he's under contract for two more seasons, making him a sneaky, under-the-radar target for Los Angeles.
Herrera was traded from the Kansas City Royals to the Washington Nationals in June, making it unlikely that he would be dealt again, but nonetheless, he made our list.
It's no secret the Dodgers have had interest in Herrera over the years, and according to multiple reports, Los Angeles was in "serious talks" with the Royals before he was ultimately traded to Washington.
As we previously mentioned, it's unlikely that the Nationals become sellers, but there have been some reports that state the team could buy (Realmuto) and sell at the same time. If so, Herrera would a likely target.
Before coming to Washington, the 28-year-old right-hander had a 1.05 ERA in 27 appearances with the Royals. Since the trade, his ERA has jumped to 3.29 with 12 strikeouts compared to six walks in 15 appearances with the Nationals. His WHIP has also gone from 0.818 to over twice that at 1.683.
Nationals closer' Sean Doolittle's stress reaction in his left foot means Herrera is of need in that role, but because he is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Nats have two former closers in Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler, it is in the realm of possibility that they could deal Herrera if they received the right offer.
Jacob Rudner of DodgersWay.com also contributed to this story.
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