Just like they did in the 2019 NLDS, the Dodgers struck out at the winter meetings. They failed to offer Gerrit Cole more money than the Yankees did, and they failed to even offer Anthony Rendon a contract.
However, the offseason is not won or lost at the winter meetings. There are still over two months until teams report to spring training and a lot can happen. Although LA missed out on some of the biggest names in the game, there’s a way they can prove all the naysayers wrong, and make a splash that will make the team the best it’s been during this stretch of division-winning seasons.
You’ve probably heard by now the Dodgers are interested in acquiring Francisco Lindor. You’ve also probably heard that the Indians want at least Gavin Lux AND Dustin May in a potential trade. Both Lux and May are LA’s No. 1 and No. 2 rated prospects, respectively.
When I first heard that, I’ll be honest, I was completely against it. Your top two prospects with years and years of control for a player who can leave after a few? No way. However, after a lot of thinking and reading a few articles, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am fully on board with this move, and I’ll try and explain why you should be too.
First things first, Lindor is a FANTASTIC player. He’s been an All-Star in four straight years, has finished in the top 15 of MVP voting in the last four years, and has won either a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Award in each of the last four years.
In 618 games going back to 2016, he’s slashed .284/.346/.495/.841, to go along with 118 home runs and 333 runs driven in. He’s also stolen 81 bases. To simply put it, he’s the best shortstop in the game. His most impressive stat is the number of games played, as he’s averaged 155 games a year since 2016.
Do the Dodgers need a shortstop? No. Obviously they have Corey Seager. As we’ve seen in years past, he’s dealt with a number of injuries, and it looks as if a move away from shortstop is bound to happen eventually. So, what happens with the infield?
Assuming the Dodgers don’t sign a third baseman, you can either move Seager over to third base or to second base. There’s been rumors of him playing both, so I’m not entirely sure where he ends up. In the latest piece from Ken Rosenthal, he even suggests Seager moves to first base.
Wherever you put him, you fill out the rest of the infield with Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Lindor.
Yup, you didn’t see me mention someone’s name. It’s tough to see a trade with the Indians happening without including Lux. The Dodgers reportedly refuse to include him in any deal, but I don’t see how LA can pull it off without having him as the headliner. Unless, well, they really send Cleveland an over-haul of prospects.
However, if you’re acquiring a potential hall-of-fame talent like Lindor, you have to pull the trigger.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, throwing in your two best prospects for Lindor does seem a bit much. Who’s to say Lindor is the only piece? There’s no official report yet as to whether or not the Dodgers want to do this, but listen to what David Vassegh reported on MLB Network.
“There have been different versions of the trade discussed that would include Lindor & not Corey Kluber but Mike Clevinger.”— Audel Del Toro (@AudelDelToro) December 12, 2019
-@THEREAL_DV on Lindor to LAD trade
: @MLBNetwork | #Dodgers #MLB pic.twitter.com/lQqgp6FtGY
If the Dodgers can acquire Mike Clevinger from the Indians, now we’re talking. Clevinger isn’t really a household name in baseball, but he’s quietly been one of the better starting pitchers over the years.
He made only 21 starts last year, but was dominant in nearly all of them. The 28-year-old went 13-4, posted a 2.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.056. Even better, he had a SO/9 of 12.1, and a SO/BB ratio of nearly five-to-one.
Over the last three seasons, he’s gone 38-18, while posting a 2.96 ERA, an ERA+ of 152, a 3.32 FIP and a WHIP of 1.153. He’s averaging more than 10 strikeouts per innings, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3.31.
He’d easily become the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter, or even No. 3 depending on if they sign someone during free-agency. Not only would you be upgrading your offense with the addition of Lindor, you’d be upgrading your starting rotation as well with the addition of Clevinger.
I know it’s tough to part ways with prospects, especially two highly-touted prospects like Lux and May. However, when you’re acquiring an All-Star shortstop and a potential future Hall-of-Famer, as well as a starting pitcher who could potentially be in contention for a Cy Young Award, I think it’s something you should do in a heartbeat.
Though Lux and May look promising, they are still only prospects. There’s no guarantee they can each pan out and ever make it to the levels of Lindor and Clevinger. If they both do, well, that’s something the Dodgers live with, and hope that the names they got back from Cleveland help them win a World Series.
This is just a rumor floating around, so there’s a high-chance that this trade doesn’t ever happen. However, if it does, or something similar to this rumor gets discussed in the coming weeks, I just thought I’d let you know that it would be a great trade for both sides. There’s still a few months left until Spring Training, and I feel Andrew Friedman and company have a few more moves up their sleeves.