LA deals for Braves' Wood, Marlins' Latos
Dodgers get 7 players in return for Cuban star Olivera, Rodriguez and 3 Minor League pitchers
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers used their financial might on Thursday to complete a pair of trades addressing current pitching needs while providing salary relief to Miami and Atlanta.
In separate deals, the Dodgers acquired starting pitchers Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, outfielder Michael Morse and infield prospect Jose Peraza. The Dodgers also received cash considerations from both clubs.
Atlanta received from the Dodgers touted Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, injured reliever Paco Rodriguez and Minor League pitching prospect Zach Bird.
Miami received Minor League pitchers Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo and Kevin Guzman from the Dodgers and sent a competitive balance Draft pick to Atlanta.
The Dodgers put Wood, Latos, Johnson and Avilan on the active roster and optioned Peraza to Triple-A Oklahoma City. They designated for assignment Morse, starting pitcher Brandon Beachy, outfielder Chris Heisey and reliever Chin-hui Tsao; placed Arroyo on the 60-day disabled list; and moved reliever Chris Hatcher from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
And with time left before Friday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Dodgers had a scout watching Texas starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
Without another trade, these acquisitions bolster the back end of the Dodgers starting rotation with Latos and Wood, improve the bullpen with Johnson and Avilan and replace the talented but unproven 30-year-old Olivera with a youthful middle infield prospect in Peraza.
The Dodgers made the trades while retaining their top two prospects, shortstop Corey Seager and left-handed pitcher Julio Urias. But refusal to part with them apparently meant losing out on David Price or Cole Hamels to team with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for a World Series run.
Dealing Olivera is more than a little surprising, as the Dodgers spent $62.5 million (including a $28 million signing bonus paid by LA) to out-bid the Braves for him earlier this season. The infielder was on a fast track to the Major Leagues until slowed by a strained hamstring that is still healing.
The left-handed Wood from Atlanta, 24, is 7-6 with a 3.54 ERA and isn't eligible for free agency until 2020. He's a former second-round Draft pick from the University of Georgia who has a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio and keeps the ball in the park.
Latos, 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA, is a three-time 14-game winner and is a rental who will be a free agent after this season. He is earning $9.4 million this year and would slide into a rotation that has had trouble overcoming season-ending injuries to Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy. Latos has regained velocity and pitched more effectively for the Marlins since returning from a stint on the disabled list for knee inflammation.
The Dodgers apparently will pay a chunk of the remaining $8 million in salary for Arroyo, who hasn't pitched since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery a year ago. Arroyo was dealt last month to the Braves by Arizona and has begun playing catch, but is out at least until September.
Johnson, who took over as Atlanta's closer, provides a late-inning complement to closer Kenley Jansen. The 32-year-old right-hander has nine saves and a 2.25 ERA this year. He's a former All-Star who saved 101 games in Baltimore from 2012-13. Avilan is a lefty who replaces Rodriguez as system depth.
The 21-year-old Peraza, originally a shortstop, is developing as a second baseman that can also play center field. He is a speedy right-handed hitter with a .303 Minor League career batting average in Atlanta's system, 60-plus stolen bases the past two seasons and 25 so far this year at Triple-A.
Morse was hitting .214 in 52 games for the Marlins and is signed through 2016, when he will earn $8.5 million and seems a misfit for an outfield that already doesn't have room for Carl Crawford or Scott Van Slyke. Morse receives $7.5 million this year.