Happy MLB Trade Deadline Day!
There's less than three hours remaining on baseball's equivalent of Christmas day and fans across the country are constantly refreshing their Twitter timelines as they anxiously await news on what their teams will acquire.
Here in Los Angeles, Dodgers fans are feeling fairly confident as the 4:00PM EST trade deadline quickly approaches.
The Boys in Blue have the best record in baseball at 74-31, 12 games ahead of the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League, and 14 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
The Dodgers certainly don't need to do anything at the deadline, but for many here in Tinseltown, 2017 feels like the year the Dodgers will finally snap that 29-year drought and reach the World Series.
Therefore, fans who have witnessed the Andrew Friedman regime firsthand, feel like the Dodgers' President of Baseball Operations will be more aggressive this year, especially when it comes to acquiring another starting pitcher or elite relief pitcher at the deadline.
Whether or not Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi trade their coveted prospects in exchange for a rental or another pitcher is yet to be seen, but in the case they do, here's what you need to know before the MLB trade deadline hits:
The Dodgers top priority at the deadline this year is acquiring an elite left-handed relief pitcher. Now that Detroit Tigers lefty Justin Wilson has been traded to the Chicago Cubs, the front office has turned their attention to Baltimore Orioles' closer, Zach Britton.
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In addition to the Dodgers, the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians are also interested in Britton and Baltimore is ready to start a bidding war in order to land a "top tier prospect," from any team.
For the Dodgers, that means No. 1 prospect Walker Buehler, a right-handed starting pitcher with electric stuff and a high ceiling, or No. 2 prospect Alex Verdugo, a future leadoff hitter that can play any corner outfield position and is currently batting .326 with an .846 OPS.
In order for the Dodgers to land Britton by the deadline, either the Orioles or Dodgers will have to budge. So far, that's yet to be seen.
In addition to a relief pitcher, the Dodgers have interest in adding a top of the rotation starter to slot behind Clayton Kershaw in the postseason. In that regard, the Dodgers have been linked to Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish since the team announced they would "listen" to offers last week.
Darvish is a free agent at the end of the season, and is therefore seen as a three-month rental for anybody who trades for him. The Dodgers certainly don't need him in order to make the postseason, but definitely could use him in their quest to reach the World Series.
That would mean that Darvish would make four to five starts if the Dodgers were to advance to the World Series, and according to sources, Friedman just isn't willing to trade away either of his top two prospects for a handful of possible starts in the postseason.
The Rangers have talked to the Astros as well as the Indians about Darvish, but still want Buehler or Verdugo in any trade with the Dodgers. Once again, it's a staring match to see who blinks first.
If the Dodgers do give up either Verdugo or Buehler, look for left-handed reliever Alex Claudio to come back to Los Angeles in the deal.
Another dominant left-handed reliever is San Diego Padres All-Star Brad Hand.
The Dodgers definitely have interest in Hand, but since day one, Padres' general manager A.J. Preller has asked for a King's ransom in return for Hand. Teams interest in Hand is easy to see, he's cheap ($1.375 million) and under team control for two more years.
The New York Yankees are another team that's interested in Hand, but as of the publication of this article, Preller's asking price is still high, and he's demanding either Buehler or Verdugo in any trade with the Dodgers.
There are some smaller names that the Dodgers could still acquire like Jerry Blevins from the New York Mets, or even Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics.
Keep in mind, even if the Dodgers don't acquire one of these three big name pitchers at the non-waiver trade deadline today, they could still land someone before the waiver trade deadline on Aug. 30.
For immediate updates on all trades concerning the Dodgers, please follow @MichaelJDuarte on Twitter.