Dodgers resisted dealing top prospects
Club eyeing more pitching for August deals
LOS ANGELES -- General manager Farhan Zaidi said the Dodgers did mostly listening to other clubs Friday before the Trade Deadline, not calling them.
"We felt we did what we needed to do yesterday," Zaidi said Friday. "Nothing got particularly close today."
There was one minor transaction, sending Michael Morse and cash to the Pirates for Minor League outfielder Jose Tabata.
On Thursday, Los Angeles completed deals with Miami and Atlanta that added starters Mat Latos and Alex Wood, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan and middle-infield prospect Jose Peraza.
Morse (and a contract through 2016) also came in the deal with Atlanta and had been immediately designated for assignment. Tabata was assigned to Triple-A.
Zaidi said Latos, a rental, should get stronger as the season progresses while Wood, under club control through 2019, provides some certainty to a rotation that could lose to free agency Zack Greinke (opt-out), Brett Anderson and Latos.
Without naming names, Zaidi made it clear that the Dodgers were resistant to including either of his top prospects, Corey Seager or Julio Urias, in any deal, explaining why the Dodgers did not acquire marquee pitchers David Price, Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto.
"We never felt the market would bear how highly we value [Seager and Urias]," said Zaidi.
In fact, in keeping with ownership's mandate to create a sustainable farm system, the Dodgers dealt three young pitchers to Miami, 30-year-old Cuban infielder Hector Olivera and injured reliever Paco Rodriguez, but retained virtually all of their other top prospects and didn't lose anybody off the current 25-man roster.
"I've said publicly both Seager and Urias -- stopping short of saying untouchable because you never know what opportunities might be presented -- I couldn't see any scenario, and that bore out. Guys in the next group we value pretty highly, as well, and as they get to Double-A and Triple-A, once you see a shorter road to big leagues, it gets harder and harder [to trade them]. Some of them are getting closer and closer and that was a factor."
Instead of moving players, the Dodgers are willing to take on payroll. They will spend roughly $300 million in total salary this year alone, plus another $40 million in tax. An estimated $80 million will go to players not playing for them.
"There are times when we'll substitute cash for players," he said. "It's not a specific objective to find deals like that, but when it makes financial sense and it's advantageous to us, we'll do it. Having that flexibility creates opportunities other teams might not have."
Zaidi said he envisioned opportunities to make August waiver deals. Among pitchers the Dodgers were linked to, and worth watching during August for possible waiver deals, are Carlos Carrasco of the Indians and Yovani Gallardo of the Rangers. They also scouted Mike Leake, who was traded by the Reds to the Giants for two prospects.