LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers acquired four players on before baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, but Monday was less about the headliners — Rich Hill and Josh Reddick from the Athletics — than it is about the players they will replace.
The main story on Monday was that Yasiel Puig was not on the team's flight to Denver, and that he will likely be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, the largest fissure in the outfielder's four-plus years in the organization.
Reddick will likely step into right field, a position he has played 431 times in his last 433 games in the field since the start of 2013.
"He's a two-way player, he has power. He's a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder. I think he's going to help this team a lot. He was as good as any position player in this trade market," general manager Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call. "Rich Hill, just from a pure performance standpoint, was as good or better than any starting pitcher who was traded today or in the last week or so."
Hill, who was in independent ball a year ago, has had an amazing resurgence at ages 35-36. He has a 2.25 ERA in his 13 starts, with 90 strikeouts and 28 walks in 76 innings. Among the 134 major league pitchers with at least 70 innings this season, Hill ranks third in ERA, fourth in FIP (2.53) and 13th in K-BB% (19.9%). Opposing batters are hitting .201/.293/.266 against the left-hander.
Hill was already a honorary Dodger since he is currently on the disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger. That move was retroactive to July 20, meaning he could be activated as early as Thursday. It is unknown when Hill will make his Dodgers debut.
"We don't have an exact timetable on that, but his availability in the short term was an important part of us moving ahead on this deal," Zaidi said about it. "We feel pretty good about it,"
The Dodgers have gone 18-10 since Clayton Kershaw last made a start, and stand two games behind in the National League West, and two games ahead in the first wild card spot. Their ultimate 2016 chances depend on Kershaw returning from his herniated disc, but Zaidi said that Monday's moves, acquiring three players — including Jesse Chavez — who will be free agents at the end of the year, were more about capitalizing on the team's strong run of late.
"Our position on Kersh is that there's still some optimism that he can help us. He's the most valuable player in the game in my unbiased opinion," Zaidi said. "Beyond that, the team has played very well since he went down, so there was a real motivation to keep some of that momentum going, trying to add a bat and an arm that could help this recent surge continue.
"The most important thing is that we were in a position to make a run, and we went and got some pieces we think can help."
Kershaw isn't the only injured player on the Dodgers, nor is Puig the only outfielder affected by Reddick's addition. The Venn diagram containing both includes Andre Ethier, who has let to play this season, still recovering from a fractured right tibia. His return in 2016 is no sure thing.
"It's a little bit like Kersh, where we're hopeful, but you certainly can't plan on it. We had to take the approach at the deadline to make do with the information we have," Zaidi said. "You can't do your shopping later."
The left-handed-hitting Reddick, like Ethier, has a platoon split in his career. Reddick has hit .268/.328/.461 against right-handed pitching, including .341/.408/.557 in 2016. Against lefties, Reddick hits .222/.287/.372 for his career, and .172/.254/.172 this year, the latter 11-for-64 with seven walks and no extra-base hits.
Ultimately, Reddick's playing time will be up to manager Dave Roberts.
"I know a lot about Josh. I know he feels he's an everyday guy. I've seen him play every day in stretches, and have quality at-bats against left-handed pitching," Zaidi said. "The fact that he brings Gold Glove-caliber defense adds to the value of him being out there every day. That's ultimately a question for Doc, if he wants to address it."
Reddick won a Gold Glove in 2012. In his career he is +57 in right field in Defensive Runs Saved, +18 runs in Total Zone Rating, and +39 in Ultimate Zone Rating.
With Reddick essentially taking Puig's place, the Dodgers' lineup got even more left-handed, along with Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson plus switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal.
"Our division pitching is pretty right-handed. So being left-handed leaning can be of some benefit in this division. We do have some right-handed bench bats who can spell some guys and create a different look for the lineup," Zaidi said. "What we were looking for more than anything was guys who can help us impact the division race. We weren't too concerned with handedness."
On a rough count, with the Giants' addition of Matt Moore on Monday, 13 of the 20 starting pitchers on the other four NL West teams are right-handed.
To get Reddick and Hill, the Dodgers sent Oakland former first-round pick Grant Holmes as well as fellow pitchers Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas.
"We knew we were going to have to give up players we like," Zaidi said. "That's the cost of doing business at the trade deadline, when your team is in a good position and you know there are other teams trying to prove themselves also, you have to dip in that well and give the other team across the table value."
Perhaps most importantly, they managed to keep top prospects Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Yadier Alvarez, and the Tulsa Three of Alex Verdugo, Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun.
"Our broader philosophy was this is a team that from a minor league standpoint has a lot of pitching depth, particularly starting pitching in the pipeline coming up through Double-A and Triple-A," Zaidi said. "The ability to meet our trade needs from a pitching depth rather than going to the position player side was our preference."
Another acquisition on Monday, Chavez, has pitched exclusively in relief for Toronto this season, but also put up a 3.83 ERA in 303 innings for Oakland in 2014-2015, starting 47 of his 62 games during those two years. He was brought to the A's in 2012 when Zaidi was assistant GM in Oakland.
Chavez will be in the bullpen at first with the Dodgers.
"We view him as a swing man. What is valuable about him is, out of the pen he has a rubber arm, and is a guy who can pitch two, three or four innings at a time. On the flip side, if you need him to make a spot start the next time out he can do that," Zaidi said. "His versatility in that role is going to be a big benefit to us."
The Dodgers also got Josh Fields on Monday, and Zaidi said it wasn't yet decided whether Fields, who has been in Triple-A since May, would be sent to Oklahoma City, or be added to the Dodgers in advance of three games at the pitching hell hole that is Coors Field.
"We have a lot of moving parts," Zaidi said. "We're trying to sort out the 25-man roster."