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MLB Trade Deadline Grades: How We Rank the Dodgers' Midseason Moves

We breakdown all the moves the Los Angeles Dodgers made at the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline and deliver a final grade.

You may now put your pencils down.

It's been a little over 48 hours since the 2018 Major League Trade Deadline and fans are still reeling over the moves that all 30 teams did, and did not make.

Baseball is one of the only sports where halfway through the season, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. It's not that it’s a few contending teams that add pieces, it's usually all of them, as Christmas comes in July for a dozen of the top teams in the sport.

By our count, 81 different players switched teams in the month of July, and that doesn't count the handful of players like Nationals' reliever Kelvin Herrera and others who were traded before July.

The amount of moves is mind-boggling, but it provides fans with plenty of fodder to discuss the deals ad nauseam, including our very own Los Angeles Dodgers.

While the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Boston Red Sox all are seen as winners at the deadline, we'll breakdown what the Dodgers did below:

  • Acquired Manny Machado from Orioles for OF Yusniel Diaz, 3B Rylan Bannon, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP Zach Pop and INF Breyvic Valera.
  • Acquired 2B Brian Dozier from Twins for 2B Logan Forsythe, 1B/OF Luke Raley and LHP Devin Smeltzer.
  • Acquired RHP John Axford from Blue Jays for RHP Corey Copping.

Dodgers Trade Grade: A-

The Yankees and Dodgers are easily atop the list of the biggest winners at the trade deadline.

Despite the fact the trade occurred right after the All-Star Game, the Dodgers still landed the biggest prize available in shortstop and third baseman, Manny Machado.

Machado cost a heavy haul of five total prospects, especially for a player that is a free agent at the end of the season, but he fills the offensive void that was left in the wake of the announcement that two-time All-Star Corey Seager would miss the remainder of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Additionally, Machado provides backup and depth at third base for Justin Turner who has battled a bevy of injuries this season.

The Dodgers surprised a lot of people by swapping second basemen with the Twins at the deadline, by acquiring the long coveted Brian Dozier for Logan Forsythe and two prospects. The Dodgers wanted Dozier two years ago when they first traded for Forsythe and finally secured their man on Tuesday. If Dozier is able to have a second half of the season anywhere close to his past second halves, the Dodgers have the best lineup in baseball on paper.

As one rival executive told NBC LA, "the Dodgers are easily the deepest team in the league."

He's right of course, but ironically, they may have been the deepest even before the trade deadline. Now, Los Angeles can put a multitude of lineups on the field for either offense or defense, with the luxury of interchanging players and positions as they seem fit, with seemingly no glaring holes or weaknesses.

The final move was acquiring a veteran right-handed relief pitcher in John Axford. Axford's experience should help the bullpen, but he definitely wasn't the high-end reliever they wanted.

The reason why we gave the Dodgers an "A-" instead of an A or A+ is twofold:

Firstly, although the starting rotation is deep with a myriad of reliable starters, outside of Clayton Kershaw none of them appears to be a front-end starter that can compete with the rotations of the Astros, or Red Sox.

The starting pitching market was thin this year, but the Dodgers were in on Chris Archer of the Rays, and perhaps he could have been the No. 2 to slot behind Kershaw that they needed.

Secondly, although the bullpen is very deep with a collection of strong and confident arms, the Dodgers are still seeking a high-leverage setup man or late-inning reliever the likes of which the Yankees, Indians, and Diamondbacks have built.

There was a plethora of them available, but the Dodgers front office likes to hold on to their prospects, and despite making calls on almost everyone, the only move they made before the deadline was for Axford.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said that the team may unleash some "unconventional moves" when it comes to the pitching staff for the remainder of the season, meaning we will likely see some of the starting pitchers in relief roles as the team tries to fill some of the late-inning holes from within.

Thankfully, the Dodgers are not necessarily done making moves, and if the organization still feels the need to acquire a high-leverage reliever, they can do so by the end of August through the waiver trade deadline.

Overall, the Dodgers front office did another excellent job at the deadline, filling holes, and adding pieces they needed, while still holding on to their top prospects in the farm system. Not only are the Dodgers setup to make a push back to the World Series this season, but are still ripe with fruit for the future as well.

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