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