MLB Trade Ideas: Low-Cost Targets for L.A. Dodgers to Enter the Playoff Race

Evan BarnesContributor IIIJanuary 26, 2017

MLB Trade Ideas: Low-Cost Targets for L.A. Dodgers to Enter the Playoff Race

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    Jeff Francoeur is one of several low-cost possibilities the Dodgers could explore via trade if they hope jumpstart their season with positive vibes on-the-field
    Jeff Francoeur is one of several low-cost possibilities the Dodgers could explore via trade if they hope jumpstart their season with positive vibes on-the-fieldKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Dodgers have their share of problems. Lack of consistent run support. Inconsistent relief pitching, especially from injured closer Jonathan Broxton. An owner who everyone wants to see go away as MLB has taken over financial operations.

    Yet they're still barely under .500 and only three games out of the division lead.

    Despite not securing any major free agents, they've been carried by the hot bats of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and the solid arm of Clayton Kershaw.

    But it's hard to expect the team to rely on three consistent players while surrounded by hits or misses.

    To ease the worries of GM Ned Colletti, here are some low-cost targets they could look at to address their offensive/relief-pitching woes. All of them cost between $2-4 million, which means they won't cause added stress.

Kyle Farnsworth

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    FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Kyle Farnsworth #43 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22, 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Tampa Bay’s closer is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA and seven saves in eight opportunities. With Jonathan Broxton on the shelf, but still prone to fits of inconsistency, why not possibly trade him for another hard-throwing righty?

    Farnsworth’s older than Broxton (35) and prone to meltdowns himself, but right now, I wouldn’t trust Broxton to save a crucial game. Plus, at $2.6 million, he’s a cheap solution while the team grooms Kenley Jansen as a possible long-term solution.

Joakim Soria

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    DETROIT, MI - APRIL 10:  Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws a ninth inning pitch while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Kansas City won the game 9-5. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    If the Dodgers don’t want to go old with targeting Farnsworth, they can target the 26-year-old Soria, a two-time All-Star with his best years ahead of him. He's already got six saves, but his 3.95 ERA could be a red flag.

    Kansas City has plenty of young talent that’s attractive and Soria could be a bullpen cornerstone for years to come. He’s eligible for arbitration next year and the Royals' fear of paying top dollar could be the Dodgers’ gain.

    At $4 million, he’s a bit more expensive than Farnsworth, but still cheaper than Broxton ($7 million)

    Ironically, the Dodgers were the first team to sign Soria in 2001 before releasing him in 2004. This could be their way of atoning for their mistake of letting him go too soon.

Jeff Francoeur

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 20:  Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the game against the Cleveland Indians on April 20, 2011 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Francoeur has revived his career in Kansas City and reminded folks why he was once a bright star in Atlanta. He’s batting over .300 and is on pace for his best statistical season since 2006.

    Perfect reasons why the Dodgers should look at him as a fit in the outfield.

    Francoeur makes only $2.5 million and is a free agent next year. With left field still not secure between Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr., it wouldn’t be a bad idea to rent Francoeur to help add some consistent pop to the lineup.

Conor Jackson

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 02:  Conor Jackson #28 of the Oakland Athletics in action against the Texas Rangers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 2, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Jackson has plenty of experience beating up the Dodgers during his days in Arizona.

    What better way to earn Dodger fans’ forgiveness than to come back and help their lineup. He also has roots in Southern California, attending El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills.

    With James Loney constantly mentioned as trade bait, Jackson can slide in at first as a hitting upgrade. He can also play left field to address that need.

    Best of all, at $3.2 million and a free agent after this season, he’s a bargain bat that won’t hurt the payroll.