As the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches on Monday, most baseball fans wonder what their team will do. As late as Saturday, the Dodgers didn't appear like they were going to be active at the Trade Deadline, but on Sunday, Clayton Kershaw left the game with lower back stiffness after pitching
As the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches on Monday, most baseball fans wonder what their team will do. As late as Saturday, the Dodgers didn't appear like they were going to be active at the Trade Deadline, but on Sunday, Clayton Kershaw left the game with lower back stiffness after pitching two innings.
Reports on Monday said Kershaw will be sidelined for four to six weeks, but this shouldn't mean the Dodgers should become active in the trade market.
Last season, Kershaw missed almost three months of the regular season with a mild herniated disk in his lower back. With this history, the Dodgers will be extremely cautious with Kershaw, who has the most wins and the lowest ERA in baseball. Although Kershaw didn't experience shooting pain in his leg as he did last year, the Dodgers don't know the severity of the injury.
While the Dodgers also have Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list because he has a blister, they shouldn't pursue obtaining a starting pitcher at the Deadline unless the starter can help them in the future.
Usually at the Trade Deadline, most teams who don't have much hope for a playoff berth want to dump high-priced experienced players whose contracts expire at the end of the season, and they want top Minor League prospects in return. This isn't good for the winning team unless it has a desperate need for something to enable them to go to the playoffs. The Dodgers aren't in this position. If they keep winning at this current pace, they will have 110 wins. With a 10 1/2-game lead on the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers should earn an unprecedented fifth straight National League West title.
The Rockies appear to have little chance of winning the division, but they have an excellent opportunity to earn one of the NL Wild Card spots. After having six consecutive seasons of losing records, it is a huge accomplishment for the Colorado organization. The Rockies, whose front office prides itself on developing its own talent, must decide whether to trade for a veteran starting pitcher or keep the team they have. Their young starting rotation has exceeded expectations. Since young starters usually don't have the same endurance as veteran starters, the Rockies need to acquire a veteran starter to have much hope of advancing past the NL Wild Card Game.
While it is understandable that Dodgers fans would like the club to obtain both a starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever who dominates left-handed hitters, keep in mind that every trade can alter the chemistry in the clubhouse. The 2017 Dodgers play with tremendous determination to win. They understand it won't be easy to be the best team in baseball at the end of October, but they are determined to accomplish this lofty goal. Team president Andrew Friedman is reluctant to make a trade since he likes the chemistry of the club. Even with Kershaw hurt, the Dodgers have enough talent to go to the World Series without making any trades.
Sarah D. Morris can be reached at email@example.com.