The Los Angeles Dodgers have two days left to make a waiver trade before the August 31st deadline. Behind in the NL Western Division by 10.5 games, they are out of contention and should be looking to add prospects for the future of the franchise.
The Dodgers, mired in controversy and injuries all season, actually have some players that contending teams could really appreciate. Veteran contributor and utility man Jamey Carroll has been a valuable piece to the Dodgers' rotation for the last two seasons, and deserves a chance at playing in the postseason. Jamey has led the Dodgers in many offensive categories, and has been second behind Matt Kemp in most others.
Catcher Rod Barajas should definitely be on the move soon too, as the Dodgers should try to get a prospect for the free agent backstop. Barajas has provided a good dose of power for the Dodgers, and could give a spark to a team with a lack of catching depth.
Depth is what pitchers Ted Lilly and Mike MacDougal would give a playoff bound team, and Lily has already cleared waivers. Lilly and MacDougal, veteran arms, will be quality additions to teams that need some rest for their current pitching staff.
Let's take a closer look at the four possible waiver deals General Manager Ned Colletti might make over the next couple days.
Jamey Carroll has been one of the most important players to the Dodgers this season, and has earned every penny of his very reasonable $5.5 million contract over the last two years. Carroll is currently batting .293, second best on the team, and has an extraordinary .361 on-base percentage.
The Milwaukee Brewers are a team in need of a solid utility player like Carroll. Carroll plays shortstop and second base very well, and the Brewers have needs in both of those positions. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt is batting only .251 with 10 home runs, and his .270 on base percentage is almost 100 points lower than Carroll.
With starting second baseman Rickie Weeks out since the end of July with a severely sprained ankle and although he is supposed to return within a couple of weeks, he will be rusty and not ready to play every day. Jerry Hairston Jr. has filled in during his absence, but has failed to provide much of an offensive threat.
Carroll could provide depth to the entire roster, filling out a bench that needs to improve in order to advance in the National League playoffs. The Brewers would not have to give up much for Carroll, but could really impact their chances in October.
Rod Barajas has had some tough luck this season, from a June ankle injury to a mild groin strain only a week ago. However, he has managed to produce in his time behind the plate this year, posting a .239 average with 14 home runs and 38 RBI.
Barajas is a quality catcher, both offensively and defensively. The Giants have been missing their starting catcher all season, after Buster Posey went down for the year in a tragic collision. Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside have filled in to the best of their abilities, but are barely batting .200 with five home runs between the two men.
The Giants would not have to give up much for Barajas either, as Rod will be a free agent after the season and does not project to be more than a Type B free agent. The Giants could give the Dodgers a young pitcher or a raw power hitter that might develop into something bigger, while receiving an impact hitter for their playoff push.
The defending champion Giants are four games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with an anemic offense that has disappointed all season. Barajas could be the impact catcher they have missed all summer long, and the rival Dodgers might actually be willing to give them a ticket to the playoffs again.
Ted Lilly has already cleared waivers, and for the Dodgers sake they are crossing their fingers some team claims him and offers to make a deal. Lilly, acquired last July, signed a 3 year/$33 million contract with the Dodgers before this year and has failed to solidify the Dodgers talented rotation.
Lilly's bloated contract has overshadowed his solid year. It is definitely not worth the money, but Lilly has managed to post a 4.43 ERA while averaging almost 6 innings a start. He is very hittable, but can absolutely keep an offensively solid team in a game. The Tigers have needed an extra starter because of Brad Penny's inconsistency and the youth of Rick Porcello, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer.
Lilly's 1.18 WHIP is very serviceable, and the Tigers would have a number five pitcher for the next couple years at a reasonable rate. If Lilly can throw some quality games for the Tigers against AL Central rivals and help them reach the playoffs over the Cleveland Indians, Lilly could be the toast of Detroit.
Ted is an experienced arm that has played at some of the biggest stages, with stints in New York and Chicago along with Los Angeles. He has the confidence to go out and compete with the best teams, the Tigers just have to make the right deal to get some added depth.
No reliever in the Major Leagues has had a resurrgence like Mike MacDougal this season. Brought into Spring Training by the Dodgers this year via a non-roster invite, MacDougal has made the team and brought valuable experience to the Dodgers depleted bullpen.
MacDougal, owner of a 1-1 record and 2.05 ERA in almost 50 innings so far this season, has been instrumental in the success of the Dodgers bullpen, a mix of cast-off veterans and unproven youngsters. Mike, the ex-closer for the Kansas City Royals, has valuable experience in clutch situations that could persuade Yankees GM Brian Cashman to pursue him.
The Yankees bullpen is overworked, and although very good, very prone to mishaps. Closer Mariano Rivera is the rock of the team and reliever David Robertson has been fantastic this season, but otherwise the Bronx Bomber bullpen has been fairly mediocre. MacDougal's 1.45 WHIP and 33 strikeouts could bring some energy to a tired bullpen that has been worked a lot by manager Joe Girardi.
MacDougal has struggled with his accuarcy but managed to get the job done for the Dodgers, in various times in the game. MacDougal is versitile because he can work for a couple innings early on in relief or come in and get one batter in the 8th inning. As a middle reliever, MacDougal has worn many hats this season and excelled in all of his roles.
Mike, a free agent after the year and owner of a $500k contract this season, is a true bargain for any team offering a prospect in return. The Yankees could give up a young infielder or a young pitcher and gain a true horse in the bullpen that could carry them over the Boston Red Sox on the way to a AL East crown this fall and future success in the playoffs.