Dave Roberts was locked into Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on Tuesday.
“Man,” the Dodgers supervisor remarked after the deadline handed. “Lots occurred.”
Just not for his crew.
While the San Diego Padres drastically altered their lineup round the addition of Juan Soto, different National League contenders similar to the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves made a number of notable additions to their massive league roster, and each membership however the Colorado Rockies executed at least one deal, the Dodgers stayed comparatively quiet.
They had been outbid for Soto, making a robust push with a prospect-laden provide however ending as the runners-up in the bidding for the 23-year-old famous person outfielder.
They deserted their pursuit of Miami Marlins starter Pablo López, with an inflated pitching market driving his price too steep.
They could not discover the proper value level in negotiations for different bigger-name choices, similar to slugger JD Martinez of the Boston Red Sox, a goal they pursued up till the 3 pm cutoff time.
And in the finish, the solely actual change they made was successfully changing part-time outfielder Jake Lamb, who was traded to the Seattle Mariners, by taking a flier on Joey Gallo, the former two-time All-Star who had been struggling for the New York Yankees and was acquired for just one pitching prospect.
“I be ok with how aggressive we had been in attempting to line up on various things, the issues that we in the end did,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman mentioned.
But in the end, he added, “I be ok with the crew that we have now in place and the means that they’ve carried out… A whole lot of that stems from a particular dynamic that we have now in place, in addition to the expertise that we have now right here and the expertise returning and the subsequent two to 6 weeks.”
Friedman, in fact, has not been afraid of blockbuster offers in the previous. It was at the deadline he acquired Yu Darvish in 2017, Manny Machado in 2018 and Max Scherzer and Trea Turner final 12 months.
The calculation this season, nevertheless, was completely different.
The Dodgers began the day with the majors’ finest profitable proportion and crew pitching ERA, in addition to the second-most runs scored.
They had a 12-game division lead, and had been already virtually assured of constructing the playoffs.
They did not really feel like that they had any apparent urgent wants, both, assured a banged-up pitching workers can be near full well being by the begin of the playoffs and the few struggling bats in the lineup will warmth up down the stretch.
“It is the most costly time of the 12 months to amass gamers,” mentioned Friedman. “I assume perhaps we had been quiet outwardly, however there was loads occurring.”
The Dodgers’ largest addition was Gallo, who was one in all baseball’s most prolific left-handed sluggers earlier in his profession with the Texas Rangers however had struggled since being dealt to the Yankees this time final 12 months.
In 82 video games this season, the seven-year veteran — who can be a free agent in the offseason — was batting simply .159 with 12 house runs, 24 RBIs, a .621 on-base-plus-slugging proportion and 106 strikeouts in 273 plate appearances.
With the Dodgers, Gallo will probably serve in a platoon function — he has been barely higher in opposition to right-handed pitching this season — and play defensively in left subject, the place the crew hopes the two-time Gold Glove participant may also make an influence.
“A 12 months in the past, he was price loads in the business,” Friedman mentioned. “The true expertise degree stays… We really feel there’s some actual potential upside.”
Lamb, who had been occupying the same function in latest weeks, was dealt to the Mariners in a distinct transfer for both a participant to be named later or money concerns.
The Dodgers additionally traded fringe massive league pitcher Mitch White to the Toronto Blue Jays for a pair of pitching prospects — serving to unencumber roster house for the litany of pitchers anticipated to return off the 60-day injured checklist earlier than the finish of the season.
That injured group was one other consider Tuesday’s lack of exercise from the Dodgers, whose solely different notable pre-deadline transfer was buying center reliever Chris Martin final week.
Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Duffy and Victor González are all recovering from accidents.
And whereas Friedman acknowledged the crew is “not counting on all of them coming again and being nice,” they anticipate to get sufficient reinforcements — particularly from Buehler, May and Treinen — to internally bolster a pitching workers that has nonetheless carried out like one in all the sport’s finest.
“We really feel actually good about the potential of what our pitching workers can seem like in October,” Friedman mentioned.
Roberts felt the similar means about the complete crew.
“I like the ballclub that we have now,” he mentioned. “And so for us to not type of attain to do one thing, I believe everybody in that clubhouse understands.”
Still, whereas the Dodgers actually don’t get any worse, lots of the sport’s different contenders may need quickly gotten higher.
The Braves and Mets, already the NL’s subsequent two finest groups, shored up their rosters in latest days. The Braves obtained reliever Raisel Iglesias, outfielder Robbie Grossman and starter Jake Odorizzi. The Mets added Phillip Diehl to their bullpen and Darin Ruf, Tyler Naquin and Daniel Vogelbach to their bench.
The high AL groups additionally made massive strikes. The Yankees snagged pitcher Frankie Montas, outfielder Andrew Benintendi (who was successfully changing Gallo of their lineup) and relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino. The Houston Astros added hitters Christian Vázquez and Trey Mancini.
And then there have been the Padres, who along with Soto additionally added productive hitters in Josh Bell and Brandon Drury to their lineup, in addition to the supremely proficient however not too long ago inconsistent Josh Hader to their bullpen — giving them the type of lineup and pitching depth that would problem the Dodgers in a postseason sequence.
“They made their crew means higher in the final couple of days,” Friedman acknowledged. “We stay up for that competitors.”
Roberts struck the same tone.
Asked whether or not the hole between the Dodgers and the remainder of the league’s high groups had closed, the supervisor didn’t disagree.
“Absolutely,” he mentioned. “I would not be telling the reality if I did not assume that, in order that’s completely truthful.”
And but, he maintained whole religion in the Dodgers’ current and future, assured that by defending most of their farm system and never forcing trades they felt had been overpriced, the Dodgers stored themselves well-positioned for the remainder of this season and past.
“I believe should you look at the system, the property, the gamers that we nonetheless have, we are able to try this,” mentioned Roberts. “So that is type of how we really feel. We really feel nice about our ballclub proper now for this 12 months and looking to the future.”