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Dodgers Trade Rumors: Gavin Lux Holding Up Felipe Vazquez Deal with Pirates

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Felipe Vazquez delivers a pitch measured at 101 mph during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Saturday, July 20, 2019. The Pirates won 5-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

A highly regarded prospect is reportedly the focus of "bogged down" trade conversations between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Los Angeles' push to land left-handed relief pitcher Felipe Vazquez in a trade is in flux because the Pirates want top prospect Gavin Lux. However, the Dodgers prefer to keep the middle infielder and deal from elsewhere on the roster and farm system.

Vazquez was named an All-Star in each of the past two seasons and has a sparkling 1.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 43.1 innings this year. He posted a 2.70 ERA in 2018 and 1.67 ERA in 2017, underscoring his consistency.

He would give manager Dave Roberts a southpaw for critical late-game matchups against left-handed sluggers. His presence would also help the Dodgers shorten playoff games to come with a one-two punch of Vazquez and Kenley Jansen at the backend of the bullpen.

Pittsburgh is in last place in the National League Central, but Vazquez is under team control until 2024. The contract situation means this is not a non-contender simply trading away an impact player before he potentially leaves in free agency during the upcoming offseason, so it comes as no surprise the Pirates are asking for someone of Lux’s caliber.

Lux is slashing .357/.425/.629 with 21 home runs and 64 RBI in 87 games in the minor leagues this season and has the potential to anchor a lineup for years to come.

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Parting with him would be a hefty price to pay, but securing Vazquez and a lockdown bullpen in the immediate future would further boost the Dodgers’ hopes of winning their first championship since the 1988 campaign.

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