Barring any setbacks, Justin Turner’s return to the active roster is inevitable in the next week or so when the Dodgers come back home. It would be the first time Manny Machado and a healthy Justin Turner are in the lineup together for the long haul.
That also means that the Dodgers face a roster decision of having to maneuver around the available bench spots, and eventually the end of the six-man rotation. Not to mention, if the club makes a trade for a reliever before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Alex Verdugo will be optioned back to Triple-A later today when the Dodgers activate Yasiel Puig, leaving one slot for the combo of Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley upon Turner’s activation.
Yes, Forsythe has been been bad enough to warrant being designated for assignment. The 31-year-old is having the worst year of his eight years in the big leagues, hitting .215/.276/.301 with only two homers and 10 doubles.
Only 10 players in baseball this season with at least 200 plate appearances have a worse OPS than the .577 of Forsythe.
It seems more likely that the Dodgers will put one of Forsythe or Utley on the disabled list if the roster hasn’t worked itself out in the meantime. They only need to find a way around the roster spot for a month until September rolls around anyway.
Utley has been an excellent pinch-hitter this season, going 13-for-28 (.464) with four extra-base hits in the role. Just another reason why taking Forsythe off the roster one way or the other makes the most sense.
As for the pitching situation, the six starters won’t last much longer and will force a move for one to go to the bullpen. That’s also a way around the question of Forsythe and Utley. Either Pedro Baez or JT Chargois could be optioned to have one of Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda and Walker Buehler slot into a relief role.
Buehler could also pitch his way into being optioned as well.
If the Dodgers decided to go with 12 pitchers for a while, it delays any decision on Forsythe who would easily pass through waivers should the Dodgers find a way to move him.
Which brings us to the approaching trade deadline. It seems like the Dodgers have been mentioned in Chris Archer trade rumors since Andrew Friedman took the reins before the 2015 season.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Dodgers as one of the team’s involved in a trade talks for the right-hander Saturday morning. It’s simply a rumor at this point but Archer will make less than $2.5 million for the rest of the season and is under team control through 2021.
Archer won’t be cheap to trade for, especially if Forsythe’s money was part of the package. It’s also hard to believe that the Dodgers won’t add another bullpen arm by the time Tuesday rolls around.
Whatever happens in the next few days, expect the roster to look a little different by the end of next week.