Could this be Hiroki Kuroda's last week in Dodgertown?
Sunday’s trade deadline will most likely come and go without much fanfare in Dodgertown, but it doesn’t mean we can’t speculate on where Hiroki Kuroda and Jamey Carroll might end up and whom they might be traded for.
Those are the two Dodgers who might be changing addresses after Sunday. Kuroda has been mentioned the most in trade talks, and he’s arguably the team’s best asset despite his $12 million deal.
In my mind, these are some great straight-up offers that teams could pose for Kuroda with one additional trade thrown in to mix it up. Could these deals actually happen? Maybe, maybe not. These would be the best possible deals based on rumors, Kuroda waiving his no-trade clause and how much it’d either benefit the Dodgers or the teams involved.
Let’s jump in the mix.
The Tigers are among the teams most interested in Kuroda, and if they want a guy capable of being a No. 2 or 3 in their rotation, they’ll be giving the Dodgers a great pitcher in return.
Enter Max Scherzer, the hard-throwing yet wild 27-year-old with more than 100 strikeouts and 40 walks. The Tigers wouldn’t dare part with 22-year-old Rick Porcello, and if they want to make a run deep in the postseason, they need another veteran with experience.
I doubt the Tigers would offer up former Dodger Brad Penny, who was a notoriously bad second-half pitcher during his days here. Scherzer gives the Dodgers another young arm, but his lack of control is a problem compared to Kuroda being a master of using his pitches effectively.
Alexi Ogando has a smaller ERA for Texas, but at 27, I’d doubt the Rangers would part with the future for an aging Kuroda in a pennant chase. But since we’re dreaming, let’s assume they send Ogando anyway.
Ogando would give the Dodgers three young pitchers to build around and give opponents the prospect of facing three strong arms in their prime.
Plus Kuroda would bring even more stability to a solid rotation, and being in another pennant race with more run support would perhaps inspire him to pitch even better. It’d be a perfect scenario for both teams.
The Indians want Kuroda badly, so it’d make sense they should offer up a pitcher who has great control despite his high ERA (4.01).
Tomlin’s WHIP (1.02) is significantly better than Kuroda's, and since he’s younger, he’d bring excellent control to the Dodgers rotation, not to mention he has 11 wins on the season. It’s almost as if he’s Kuroda if Kuroda were able to get some more wins with the Dodgers offense.
I thought about maybe offering Kuroda for Fausto Carmona considering he needs a change of scenery like his former rotation mates CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee. But Carmona (5-10, 5.34 ERA) has yet to match the brilliance of his 2007 season, and pairing him with an anemic Dodgers offense could be even more traumatic. We’ll settle for Tomlin and his higher potential.
Why Garcia? A.J. Burnett might be the most overrated pitcher making the kind of money he does. Bartolo Colon is one bad pitch away from a train wreck. And CC Sabathia? The best chance the Dodgers have for getting him is if he opts out of his contract this fall.
If it’s true the Yankees are showing an interest and Kuroda might waive his no-trade clause for an East Coast team, this might actually be a good deal. Garcia has revived his career in New York and has his lowest ERA in six seasons and could be a solid No. 3 man for the Dodgers rotation.
At worst, he’s better than Ted Lilly, and he’ll be a solid fit for a year or two.
Let's end the trade speculation by going to the one team that's interested in Jamey Carroll.
Milwaukee has expressed interest in Carroll, so if the trigger gets pulled on this trade, it might as well swap shortstops and send Wilson (.263 batting average) in place of the steady veteran.
Carroll has been nothing short of solid for the Dodgers this year, and it’d only be fair to send him off to a contending squad since the team will most likely not re-sign him. Wilson could be a decent bat off the bench, so let’s call this a solid swap of utility guys who’d step in right away and impact their clubs.
It'd be a true dream if Carroll led to Rickie Weeks coming to the Dodgers. But even dreams can't go too crazy, and Weeks is too crucial to the Brewers' great season, so we'll take Wilson for the team's best utility man and glue guy in the clubhouse.