Dodgers Trade Rumors: Latest Reports Surrounding LA Before 2018 Deadline

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) holds his bat and the trophy after winning the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers already landed the player most expect to be the biggest prize of the 2018 trade season when they acquired Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles for a package of five prospects.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported immediately following the Machado trade that the team was now pursuing "a reliever to help out closer Kenley Jansen," and they've since checked in with a number of different teams.

While the bullpen looks like the most likely spot for another addition, there have also been some rumblings of another superstar bat heading out west as well.

Ahead, you'll find all the latest from the Dodgers rumor mill.


Interested in Shane Greene

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 25: Shane Greene #61 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 25, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Brian Davidson/Getty Images

The Dodgers already have one of baseball's best closers in Jansen, but that hasn't stopped them from showing interest in Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene.

Earlier this month, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press wrote: "The Dodgers were eying Shane Greene closely before his injury and have had scouts watching him in recent days. Greene won’t be looked at as a closer but rather a solid back-end piece who can slot in the back of a bullpen somewhere."

Greene enjoyed a breakout 2017 season in his first full year in the bullpen, posting a 2.66 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 with nine saves and 14 holds in 71 appearances.

His ERA has climbed to 4.09 this season, as he's been more susceptible to the long ball (0.8 to 1.4 HR/9), but he's made impressive strides in terms of his overall command (4.5 to 2.3 BB/9), and it appears he's moved past the bout of shoulder inflammation that sidelined him earlier this month.

The 29-year-old is under team control through the 2020 season, and he's making a team-friendly $1.95 million this season, which is not insignificant for a Dodgers team dealing with luxury-tax implications.

He won't come cheap because of that control, but the Dodgers have the prospect depth to swing a deal without parting with their top-tier young talent.


Pursuing Texas Rangers Relievers

Keone Kela
Keone KelaGregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Dodgers are also keeping an eye on the Texas Rangers stable of bullpen arms in their search for relief help.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News wrote: "According to three sources, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been scouting the Rangers' relief quartet of Keone Kela, Jose Leclerc, Alex Claudio and Jake Diekman closely in the last week."

Here's a look at how that group has performed so far this season:

  • Kela: 38 G, 24/25 SV, 3.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.8 K/9
  • Leclerc: 40 G, 14 HLD, 2.33 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 12.3 K/9
  • Claudio: 43 G, 11 HLD, 4.53 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 4.9 K/9
  • Diekman: 46 G, 14 HLD, 3.79 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 10.9 K/9

Diekman is the most readily available of the group as a free-agent-to-be, and he's all but certain to be moved somewhere before the deadline passes.

Meanwhile, interest in Kela was described as "persistent" by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, who listed the Atlanta Braves alongside the Dodgers at the two teams most aggressive in their pursuit of the hard-throwing righty who is controllable through the 2021 season.

A packaged deal for Diekman and either Kela or Leclerc could be the answer to the Dodgers shoring up their pen for the stretch run.


A Blockbuster Deal for Bryce Harper?

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 25:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during a game at Miller Park on July 25, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

While there's a good chance the Dodgers will settle for a bullpen addition or two and call it good at the deadline, there is a more substantial rumor floating around out there as well:

Michael J. Duarte @michaeljduarte

Multiple sources have told me that the #Dodgers have checked in on availability of Bryce Harper. #Nats are still undecided on if they want to sell, but if they do, LA is a likely destination.

This would be a game-changing move for a team that already added one rental superstar in Machado, but it's unclear at this point if the Nationals would even entertain the idea of moving Harper, even with free agency looming and the team in the midst of a disappointing season.

From the Dodgers' end, Yasiel Puig was activated from the disabled list over the weekend and returned to the starting lineup in right field. While he hasn't matched last year's production, he has a solid 115 OPS+ with 12 home runs and 38 RBI.

Would Los Angeles consider giving up guys like Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo for two-plus months of Harper?

It's a question that is worth asking with the team apparently at least sniffing around the Nationals superstar.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.