Dodgers Trade Rumors: Brad Hand a Top Target for LA Ahead of Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 12, 2019

BOSTON, MA - MAY 29: Brad Hand #33 of the Cleveland Indians throws in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox  at Fenway Park on May 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to acquire Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Hand, 29, has saved 19 games for the Tribe en route to a 0.98 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. The two-time All-Star has spent nine years in the bigs with the Florida/Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and Cleveland.

The southpaw started 43 games during the first half of his career, but he moved to the bullpen exclusively before the 2016 season. Since then, Hand has 73 saves, a 2.45 ERA and 361 strikeouts in 268.1 innings.

The Dodgers aren't in dire need of reinforcements: Their 45-22 record is a full seven games better than anyone else in the National League field. Furthermore, L.A. is on pace to coast to an NL West title, sitting 9.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies.

However, the Dodgers' relief staff is scuffling through a mediocre year: Its 4.42 ERA ranks 18th among all MLB bullpens, and no individual reliever has a sub-3.00 ERA.

Hand, who is under contract through 2020 and has a 2021 club option, could certainly help the ballclub given his recent success.

The question is whether Cleveland would part with him.

The Tribe are sitting at a middling 34-32, with potential for this season to go north toward a playoff push or south toward a glut of American League teams currently rebuilding their rosters.

If Cleveland's season goes in the latter direction, Hand could hypothetically depart in a midseason fire sale as the team looks to rebuild.

But Cleveland is just two games behind the Texas Rangers for the second wild-card spot. It's hard to fathom the Tribe throwing in the towel if they are roughly in that same neighborhood come late July.

Regardless of whether L.A. lands Hand, the Dodgers are still the clear favorites to represent the NL in the World Series at +175 ($100 bet to win $175), per Caesars Palace.