With a little more than 24 hours before the trade deadline, it is unknown whether the Dodgers will add a big-ticket starting pitcher like Jon Lester, David Price or Cole Hamels, for whom the cost is exorbitant. But the Dodgers figure to add a pitcher of some sort, especially in relief by the 1 p.m. PT July 31 non-waiver deadline.
If the Dodgers remain steadfast in their goal to keep top three prospects Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Joc Pederson, than Price and Hamels are likely off the table. It's conceivable the club could build a package around Zach Lee and/or Chris Anderson for Lester, who is a two-month rental. The Dodgers would have also needed to outbid the Cardinals for the left-hander's services, until St. Louis swooped in and acquired Justin Masterson from Cleveland, presumably filling their need for a starter.
For what it's worth, Peter Gammon says the Dodgers' unwillingness to deal any of their top three prospects means they are out on Price, Hamels and Lester.
Adding a starting pitcher remains a priority for the Dodgers, with uncertainty surrounding both Dan Haren and Josh Beckett, but adding a starter could be done in August through waivers in the right situation.
A reliever seems more likely to be added by Thursday afternoon, to help ease some of the burden off Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson and Brandon League. Buster Olney of ESPN intimated as much.
Safest bet in the last hours leading to the trade deadline: The Dodgers are going to get bullpen help, one way or another.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2014
Joaquin Benoit is a target per both Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, with Rosenthal adding a caveat that defies logic.
Sources: #Dodgers interested in #Padres’ Benoit, but Pads would prefer not to trade him within division, if they trade him at all.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
The Padres aren't going to be competitive this year or next (the remainder of Benoit's contract), and the only way they would threaten for a playoff spot is with a maximum return for players like Benoit, so to limit their negotiating pool is foolish and shortsighted.
Benoit is 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA this season in 42 games, with 51 strikeouts and 13 walks in 43 innings. He has saved three games this year and saved 24 games in 2013 with the Tigers, so he fits general manager Ned Colletti's fetish for experienced closers.
The Yankees are also said to be interested in Benoit, per Heyman.
Benoit makes $6 million this season, so there would be roughly $1.93 million remaining in 2014, plus $8 million in 2015 and an $8 million club option in 2016, with a $1.5 million buyout, that becomes guaranteed with 55 games finished in 2015.
Acquiring Benoit would go a long way in making the 2015 bullpen surpass the 2014 squad as the most expensive bullpen in Dodgers history. Brian Wilson has an $8.5 million player option for next year, Brandon League is due another $7.5 million and Kenley Jansen will be arbitration eligible for a second season, due a raise on his $4.3 million salary.