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Dodgers still in position to add relief help

Prospect depth allows for more deals after Machado blockbuster
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- After overwhelming the Orioles with a 5-for-1 deal to get All-Sar shortstop Manny Machado on Wednesday, the Dodgers are still buyers on Thursday.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said they aren't necessarily done improving this first-place club, and that the firepower of a deep farm system allows management to pivot and address the bullpen before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

LOS ANGELES -- After overwhelming the Orioles with a 5-for-1 deal to get All-Sar shortstop Manny Machado on Wednesday, the Dodgers are still buyers on Thursday.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said they aren't necessarily done improving this first-place club, and that the firepower of a deep farm system allows management to pivot and address the bullpen before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

"We're going into the Trade Deadline and we have to pursue every opportunity to make this team better," Zaidi said. "We're going to continue to look for upgrades that make sense for us."

So even after spending a month to land "the biggest difference maker available," the front office knows the bullpen needs improvement. Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, Raisel Iglesias and Keone Kela are among intriguing possibilities. Zaidi said a next move might not come until the Deadline.

Despite adding Machado's remaining $6.3 million to a payroll now pushing the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold, Zaidi downplayed concerns that the club can't afford another acquisition without triggering an outsized penalty.

"We will be mindful of the overall payroll, like we always are," Zaidi said. "In most trades, particularly in this Deadline period, it's more about the talent than the money for teams. When you're on the selling side, you want to make sure you get the right players. We still think we've got a pretty good farm system.

"If we have a match on a player and the team we're talking to likes the players we're offering, teams are usually flexible about figuring how to make the dollars work. We're going to continue to shop and look for ways to make the team better, and we'll deal with any potential financial hurdles as they come up."

In other words, if the Dodgers offer enough quality players, the trading club can justify picking up salary of the departing player. Another option is enticing the trading club to take on the salary of, say, Logan Forsythe in exchange for a better return of prospects.

Only one of the five players Los Angeles dealt -- former Dodgers No. 4 prospect Yasniel Diaz -- is considered a top prospect by MLB Pipeline. So, Zaidi said, the Dodgers still have appealing prospects to trade because of the work of the player development system and Josh Byrnes and Billy Gasparino, who run the Draft.

"They continue to bring these players along that are productive in the Minor Leagues in a way that other teams highly value those guys," Zaidi said. "This trade, there were three drafted players over recent years, and not players that were picked in premium spots in the Draft, which speaks to a really good job by our scouting department.

"A player we signed from the international market [Diaz] was considered the centerpiece, and that involves a different set of scouts. Even Breyvic Valera, our staff did a nice job identifying him when he was DFA'd, and he carried value for the Orioles. Having all aspects of the organization do their jobs as well as they have facilitates this kind of trade."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers