Mitch White has been successful in multiple roles in the majors with the Dodgers for two seasons, so much so he reminded me a lot of Ross Stripling. That comparison added an extra layer on Tuesday, with White getting traded to the Blue Jays in a four-player deal.
White was sent along with High-A infielder Alex De Jesus to Toronto in exchange for minor league pitchers Nick Frasso and Moises Brito.
This trade, like Garrett Cleavinger to Tampa Bay on Monday and Jake Lamb to Seattle on Tuesday, were more about clearing roster spots than anything, though perhaps not fully at the fringes. In the case of White and Cleavinger, the Dodgers got a total of three prospects in return; for Lamb, they got a player to be named later or cash.
The Dodgers now have 38 players on the 40-man roster, which will be useful with the pending returns of Dustin May and Edwin Ríos in the next two weeks or so, with both currently on the 60-day injured list.
But they are really counting on the returns of May and potentially Buehler, and/or the current rotation to hold up through the end of the year. White was useful in a swingman role, starting 10 of his 15 games this year, with a 3.70 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56 innings. Jettisoning White is a vote of confidence in May, but perhaps also a sign of trust in Ryan Pepiot to step in if needed as the next starter up if needed.
40-man roster considerations were a part of trading De Jesus, too. Signed out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in July 2018, the 20-year-old was a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster this November or otherwise be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.
De Jesus was hitting .272/.386/.447 with 11 home runs and 20 doubles in 87 games between Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes this season, with great walk rate (14.9 percent) and relatively-high strikeout rate (28.6 percent). He hit .282/.376/.421 with a 125 wRC+ in 50 games after getting promoted to the Loons on May 30.
Frasso, 23, has a 0.74 ERA in 10 starts this year between Low-A Dunedin and High-A Vancouver, with 57 strikeouts against 10 walks in 36⅔ innings. The right-hander played college ball at Loyola Marymount, and was drafted by Toronto in the fourth round in 2020.
Brito, who just turned 20 last month, was signed this June out of Bani in the Dominican Republic. In 12 games and 29 innings in the Dominican Summer League for Toronto, Brito had a 1.86 ERA and 32 strikeouts against just one walk.