It's rare that a blockbuster trade is the opening salvo of a team's offseason, rather than the culmination.The Dodgers -- with a strong farm system and vast financial resources -- aren't a typical franchise.Friday's seven-player trade between the Dodgers and Reds raised more questions than it answered about the Dodgers'
It's rare that a blockbuster trade is the opening salvo of a team's offseason, rather than the culmination.
The Dodgers -- with a strong farm system and vast financial resources -- aren't a typical franchise.
Friday's seven-player trade between the Dodgers and Reds raised more questions than it answered about the Dodgers' 2019 roster. Saturday, sources indicated that the Dodgers remain in contact with the Indians about a trade that would send Cleveland ace Corey Kluber to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers won't trade Cody Bellinger -- on whom they have five years of control before free agency -- for Kluber, whose term could stretch to 2021 through club options. However, one source indicated the Dodgers are willing to discuss outfield prospect Alex Verdugo as part of a Kluber trade. The Indians' trade dialogue over the past week has been heavier on Kluber than fellow right-hander Trevor Bauer, sources say, although at this point a major deal involving a Cleveland starter is not expected before Christmas.
The Dodgers also are likely to add an impact right-handed bat, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Saturday. The Dodgers seek platoon advantages in their lineup construction and have a clear need to become more right-handed, through adding an outfielder, second baseman and/or catcher.
If Verdugo is dealt, the Dodgers likely would replace him with a right-handed hitter via free agency or trade. To that end, the Dodgers have shown interest in trading for Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, one source said.
Castellanos, 26, is coming off a career-best offensive year and will become a free agent following the 2019 season. A trade for Castellanos is plausible for the Dodgers now that Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp -- who accounted for 152 of the Dodgers' 163 regular-season starts in right field -- have moved on to Cincinnati.
Of course, the Dodgers could ignore concerns about an unbalanced lineup and sign the top free-agent outfielder: the left-handed-hitting Bryce Harper, who maintained an .857 OPS with nine home runs in 218 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers in 2018.
The Dodgers also have shown interest in trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto and signing free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu, sources say.
Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com.