On July 31st, the trade deadline of 4pm EST passed with a fury of deals and a few marque names swapping uniforms. Unfortunately, for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fan base, none of those names happened to be headed to Chaves Ravine.
Zach Greinke moved to Houston, the Atlanta Braves improved their bullpen, and even the Washington Nationals super-sized their pen, while the Los Angeles Dodgers made a handful of deals that you’d normally see happen on the waiver wire.
Sure, Jed Gyorko is a nice piece, even though he hasn’t played since June and been mostly injured, but when healthy, he can really help the ball club. While the Dodgers did help their bullpen with the addition of Adam Kolarek from the Tampa Rays, they missed out on acquiring a needle-moving arm. It came down to the asking price of the Pittsburgh Pirates for Felipé Vazquez being too steep for Andrew Friedman to pay. Gavin Lux and Dustin May were simply not going to be part of any deal this trade season, and the Pirates were set on not giving in.
What does that mean for this team? It means the front office wasn’t willing to lose top talent to improve a team that is arguably still the best team in the National League as is. With the news of May being called up to pitch the game on Friday, August 2nd, it’s no wonder they weren’t willing to include him in trade talks. Perhaps he becomes the arm in the bullpen they needed. Perhaps Lux shows up, sooner rather than later, and takes over second base duties until Kiké Hernandez and/or Chris Taylor get back to 100%.
Of all the teams chasing the Dodgers in the National League, only the Braves improved for this year. The San Diego Padres received a piece to continue their rebuild down the road in Taylor Trammell, but they aren’t making a push this season. The San Francisco Giants didn’t improve but didn’t totally tear down their team by holding on to most of their assets as well. The only team that improved significantly and could challenge the Dodgers for a World Series title is a team they are already familiar with – the Houston Astros.
This could end up being a rematch of the epic 2017 World Series if both teams run through their divisional and league championship series. It may not be until then it is clear if the Dodgers should have paid the heavy price to obtain a top quality arm for a pen that is in need of an impact guy like Vazquez.
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