Los Angeles Dodgers – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-05-16T00:05:49Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers To Place AJ Pollock On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=454387 2021-05-15T22:09:09Z 2021-05-15T22:08:20Z 5:08PM: Roberts confirmed Pollock was headed to the IL, telling reporters (including J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group) that Pollock will miss “a couple weeks minimum.”  Right-hander Edwin Uceta is being called up to take Pollock’s spot on the 26-man roster.

8:18AM: Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock exited their win over the Marlins on Friday with a left hamstring strain, the team announced. He’ll likely require a stint on the 10-day injured list, manager Dave Roberts told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic and other reporters.

Pollock has dealt with a laundry list of injuries throughout his career, though he has largely stayed healthy since missing a significant chunk of the 2019 season because of elbow surgery. He appeared in 55 of the Dodgers’ 60 regular-season games in 2020 and has played in 32 of their 38 contests this year.

As was the case last season, Pollock has put up easily above-average offensive numbers in 2021. Through 102 trips to the plate, Pollock has batted .277/.333/.457 (117 wRC+) with four home runs and a pair of stolen bases. On the defensive side, the 33-year-old has seen time in left field and center (almost exclusively the former).

If Pollock does go on the IL, he’ll join fellow outfielders Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry on the shelf. Both Bellinger and McKinstry have been out since April, but they’re close to embarking on rehab assignments, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers, Albert Pujols Agree To Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=454615 2021-05-15T20:54:43Z 2021-05-15T20:22:23Z Albert Pujols is staying in Los Angeles: He and the Dodgers have agreed to a major league contract for the rest of the season, Jorge Castillo of the LA Times reports.

The Pujols signing comes just over a week after the Angels let the future Hall of Famer go. Pujols then reportedly garnered interest from a few teams, including the Cardinals – with whom he had his greatest success – but the first baseman will join a Dodgers team aiming for its second consecutive World Series championship. He’ll presumably serve as a bench bat for the Dodgers, who have relied on Max Muncy at first base for most of 2021.

Pujols is far from the superstar he once was, but the Dodgers obviously believe the 10-time All-Star and three-time MVP will give them a credible bat in a part-time role. The 41-year-old hasn’t produced much since his stark decline began in 2017, having batted .240/.289/.405 (84 wRC+) with 76 home runs in 1,934 plate appearances over the past four-plus seasons.

Pujols also got off to an ugly .198/.250/.372 start with five home runs in 92 PA this year before the Angels parted with him, but there were some positives during that span. He was the victim of a ridiculously low .176 batting average on balls in play, .110 points below his career mark, and at least a few Statcast numbers suggest he deserved better during his final month-plus with the Angels. For instance, Pujols’ .347 expected weighted on-base average far outdoes his .270 wOBA.

Considering Pujols’ weak bottom-line production over the past few seasons, this signing may not amount to much for the Dodgers. But it’s a low-risk move for the Dodgers, who will pay him the prorated minimum salary, and it gives Pujols an opportunity to chase his third World Series ring as he nears the end of his marvelous career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Travis Blankenhorn]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=453964 2021-05-14T21:15:57Z 2021-05-14T21:15:08Z Infielder Travis Blankenhorn, who was designated for assignment by the Twins over the weekend, is headed to the Dodgers on a waiver claim, tweets SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson. Leroy Boyer of Blankenhorn’s hometown Pottsville Herald first reported that the 24-year-old was headed to the Dodgers. To make room for Blankenhorn, the Dodgers transferred injured righty Dustin May (Tommy John surgery) to the 60-day IL, per a team announcement.

A third-round draft pick in 2015, Blankenhorn appeared in only two games with the Twins — one last year and one in 2021. He’s tallied just four plate appearances in that time and collected one hit, a double. Blankenhorn has also totaled a mere 13 trips to the plate at the Triple-A level, though he has otherwise produced solid numbers in the minors.

Blankenhorn made his Double-A debut during the most recent full minor league season, 2019, and slashed .278/.312/.474 (125 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 410 PA. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen ranked Blankenhorn as the Twins’ 29th-best prospect coming into this season, writing that the 24-year-old is “a situational bat-first piece who might need a change of scenery to carve out the sort of bench role I think he’s capable of playing.”

Blankenhorn now has that change of scenery with the reigning World Series champions, whose infield depth has taken a couple shots in recent weeks. Zach McKinstry has been on the IL since April 20 with a strained oblique, and Edwin Rios needs season-ending surgery on a partially torn labrum in his shoulder.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Sign Nate Jones]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=454064 2021-05-14T20:07:43Z 2021-05-14T20:07:43Z The Dodgers have signed veteran right-hander Nate Jones to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, per their Triple-A communications director Alex Freedman (Twitter link). Jones, a client of Sterling Sports Management, was designated for assignment and released by the Braves earlier in the week after a brief stint with Atlanta.

The 35-year-old Jones parlayed an excellent Spring Training effort into an Opening Day spot in the Atlanta ’pen but struggled mightily out of the gates with his new club. In 10 1/3 innings, he surrendered six runs (four earned) on the strength of eight hits and 10 walks.

Jones was once an excellent setup man with the White Sox but has struggled to stay on the field and put up lackluster results when healthy in recent seasons. In parts of eight seasons with the ChiSox, he pitched to a 3.12 ERA over the life of 291 1/3 innings. Whether he can ever reclaim that form remains to be seen, but Jones came out of the gates in 2021 with a still-very-healthy 95.8 mph average velocity on his heater. He’ll give the Dodgers some experienced depth in Oklahoma City and could eventually work his way onto the big league roster, particularly given the number of injuries in the L.A. bullpen. The Dodgers are currently without David Price, Corey Knebel, Brusdar Graterol and Scott Alexander.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Edwin Rios To Undergo Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=452608 2021-05-12T23:58:14Z 2021-05-12T23:56:40Z Dodgers infielder Edwin Rios will undergo season-ending surgery on a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder, the team announced. Rios  went on the 10-day IL because of the injury on May 4.

A sixth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2015, Rios tore through minor league pitching and earned his first promotion to the majors in 2019 as a result. Rios thrived both that year and last season, posting far above-average offensive numbers, albeit over a small sample of plate appearances. He took 139 trips to the plate during that span and slashed .260/.338/.634 with 12 home runs and a jaw-dropping .374 ISO, mostly lining up in the corner infield along the way.

Even prior to this injury, this season was a major step back for the 27-year-old Rios, who hit an ugly .078/.217/.137 with one home run and a .059 ISO over 25 games and 60 PA. He’ll now have to wait until 2022 for a potential rebound.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dustin May Undergoes Tommy John Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=444861 2021-05-12T19:11:32Z 2021-05-12T19:05:03Z May 12: May underwent surgery today, as he announced himself on Twitter.

May 3, 4:06pm: May will undergo Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers announced (Twitter link via Juan Toribio of MLB.com). He’ll miss the rest of this season and likely a sizable portion of the 2022 campaign.

2:44pm: Dodgers right-hander Dustin May left Saturday’s start in the second inning due to an arm injury, and the initial news isn’t good.  MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports (Twitter link) that May has suffered some damage to his right UCL, and he and the “Dodgers will make [an] official decision on how to proceed in the next 24 hours.”

The worst-case scenario, of course, would be a Tommy John surgery that would keep May on the shelf for the next 13-15 months.  Depending on the severity of the UCL damage, May could first opt to rest and rehab his elbow in an attempt to pitch through the discomfort — Masahiro Tanaka is probably the most well-known example of a pitcher who avoided TJ surgery and went on to pitch for years with little issue despite a tear in his UCL.  That said, Tanaka is a rare case, and if May spends time rehabbing his elbow and then has to undergo a Tommy John procedure anyway, the added time could run him the risk of missing the entire 2022 campaign.

Regardless, it’s an all-around tough situation for a 23-year-old hurler who seemed to be on pace to be the Dodgers’ next great homegrown pitcher.  A third-round pick in the 2016 draft, May was regarded as one of baseball’s best prospects during his time in the Los Angeles farm system, and he has a 2.93 ERA, 24.2% strikeout rate, and an impressive 5.9% walk rate over 113 2/3 innings in the big leagues.  He has also logged 14 postseason innings, with 10 2/3 of those frames coming during the Dodgers’ run to the World Series last fall.

Los Angeles plans to have Tony Gonsolin step into May’s open rotation spot, though Gonsolin has yet to pitch this year due to shoulder inflammation, and will require an estimated 3-4 weeks to get fully ramped up.  The Dodgers could make do with a four-man rotation until Gonsolin is ready, and David Price doesn’t appear to be a starting option since he is also still recovering from a hamstring strain.

With a starting four of Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Walker Buehler, it’s hard to say the Dodgers are exactly hurting for rotation help.  If May does indeed end up missing an extended amount of time, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team sign an innings-eating veteran to a minor league deal in the short term, and L.A. could certainly eye a bigger-name hurler at the trade deadline.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Previewing 2021-22 Opt-Out Clauses & Player Options]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=448734 2021-05-12T14:12:04Z 2021-05-12T14:12:04Z Next year’s free-agent class is a legitimately star-studded group even when focusing only on true free agents who’ll hit the market due to service time or an expiring contract. But the class has the potential to become even stronger depending on the play of this year’s collection of veterans who have opt-out clauses and player options in their contracts. Their performance over the next five months will determine whether they opt for another trip to the free-agent market or simply stick with the remaining salary guaranteed to them on their existing deals.

We’re about a sixth of the way through the season, so it’s worth taking an early look at how this group is faring…

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals (can opt out of remaining six years, $179MM): Arenado, who was always a better hitter at Coors Field, is yet another example of the manner in which home/road splits are overstated with regard to Rockies players. The 30-year-old is now playing his home games at Busch Stadium and still raking at a .279/.336/.507 clip with top-notch defense at the hot corner. Arenado has stated that he plans “to be a Cardinal the rest of the way” and said there is a “very, very high” chance that will forgo the opt-out clause in his contract. After the Cardinals tacked a year and $15MM onto the original five years and $164MM he had remaining on the deal, there’s less incentive for him to test the market.

Trevor Bauer, RHP, Dodgers (can opt out of remaining two years, $62MM): While some might balk at the notion of Bauer opting out when he’s guaranteed a whopping $45MM next year on this front-loaded contract, the opt-out wouldn’t really be about 2022 — it’d be about improving upon the total guarantee. Right now, if Bauer were to suffer an injury in 2022, he’d have a $17MM player option for the 2023 season. If he opts out this winter, however, he could aim to negotiate something similar to or greater than his original three-year, $102MM guarantee with the Dodgers. Bauer could still secure a huge salary in year one of a new contract but give himself a greater safety net against injury or decline. He also won’t have a qualifying offer to deal with this time and would be entering what most expect to be a market with more teams willing to spend. With a 2.50 ERA, 34.7 percent strikeout rate and 7.3 percent walk rate, the current NL strikeout leader is enjoying the kind of start that will make him think about it.

Nick Castellanos, OF, Reds (can opt out of remaining two years, $34MM): If Castellanos keeps hitting anywhere near this pace, that opt-out clause will assuredly be exercised. His age-29 season has kicked off with an outstanding .303/.346/.607 slash, and he already has 18 extra-base hits (nine homers, eight doubles, one triple) in just 126 plate appearances. Castellanos fizzled after a similarly electric start in 2020, so we’ll have to see if he maintains — but he’s one of the best hitters on the planet right now.

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies ($21MM player option for 2022; $10MM player option for 2023): The Colorado fan favorite has come to life after a woeful start to the 2020 season. Over his past 13 games, Blackmon is hitting .319/.396/.447 with more walks than strikeouts. That surge still only has his season line up to .222/.328/.343 in 125 plate appearances, though, so Blackmon has plenty of work to do before he’d even consider opting out of a $21MM payday in what will be his age-35 season.

J.D. Martinez, OF/DH, Red Sox ($19.375MM player option for 2022): An ugly 2020 season had many wondering whether Martinez was beginning to decline. It seems safe to stop wondering. The first few weeks of the 2021 season have been some of the finest of JDM’s career; offense around the league is down, but he apparently didn’t get the memo, as he’s destroyed opposing pitchers at a .331/.416/.632 clip. His  10 dingers give him a share of the MLB lead. While there were some conflicting reports on the number of opt-outs in his contract at the time of the deal, MLBTR confirmed this week that Martinez has a $19.375MM player option for the 2022 season on his deal, so he’s controlling his own fate, so to speak. If he keeps hitting like this, why wouldn’t he test the market again (or at least parlay his performance into an extension in Boston)?

Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Brewers ($11MM player option for 2022): The Bradley signing hasn’t panned out for the Brewers just yet. No one should be surprised to hear that Bradley has excellent defensive ratings through his first 260 innings in center field, but he’s hitting a mere .175/.242/.316 in 124 plate appearances. Bradley didn’t sign until a few weeks into Spring Training, and we’ve seen plenty of late signees start slowly in the past, but so far things aren’t going great.

Jurickson Profar, INF/OF, Padres ($6.5MM player option for 2022; $7.5MM player option for 2023): Profar hasn’t been anywhere near the hitter he was in 2020, slashing just .234/.333/.308 through 128 trips to the plate. The investment in Profar was always a risk. He was one of the least-productive hitters in the National League for the first month of the 2020 season and only salvaged his year with a blistering .375/.398/.534 showing in his final 93 plate appearances. That well-timed hot streak rather stunningly earned him a three-year guarantee and multiple opt-out opportunities, and he’ll need some more of that magic if he’s going to consider walking away from the $14MM he’s still owed beyond 2021. Profar is currently on the Covid-related IL for contact-tracing purposes.

Kevin Pillar, OF, Mets ($2.9MM player option for 2022): Pillar entered the season with a sub-.300 OBP for his career, and he’s not doing that mark any favors in 2021. We’re only looking at 66 plate appearances, but his .254/.288/.381 output looks more like his below-average career line than last year’s stronger showing. Pillar found a pretty frosty market for his services even on the heels of last summer’s .288/.336/.462 performance, so if he doesn’t turn things around at the plate, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him pick up the option.

Justin Wilson, LHP, Yankees ($2.3MM player option for 2022; Yankees hold $7.15MM club option/$1.15MM buyout if Wilson declines): Wilson has served up a pair of homers, walked five batters, hit a batter, and yielded a total of six runs in 8 2/3 innings. He also opened the year on the IL due to shoulder soreness, and his average fastball velocity is down at 93.7 mph after sitting at 95.1 mph in each of the past two seasons. A reliever with Wilson’s track record can turn things around in a hurry, but it hasn’t been the start he or the team envisioned. If Wilson exercises his player option, it triggers a 2023 club option valued at $500K over the league minimum, meaning he’d only do so with a particularly poor year on the mound.

Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees ($2.3MM player option for 2022; Yankees hold $7.15M club option/$1.15MM buyout if Gardner declines): The Yankees lifer hasn’t shown much life at the plate in 2021, hitting .190/.284/.238 in 75 turns at the dish. He has just one multi-hit game to his credit so far in 2021 and is being used in his most limited role ever.

Darren O’Day, Yankees, RHP ($1.4MM player option for 2022): The 38-year-old O’Day has been great for the Yankees through nine innings, but he’s currently on the injured list due to a strained rotator cuff in his shoulder. As long as he comes back and demonstrates his health, he should be expected to decline his option in favor of a $700K buyout. He’s only securing himself an additional $700K if he picks the option up — barely more than the current league minimum (which could very well rise in the offseason CBA talks).

Dellin Betances, RHP, Mets ($1-3MM player option depending on number of games pitched): Betances needs to reach 60 games pitched in 2021 for his player option to be valued at $2MM and 70 games for it to check in at $3MM. So far, he’s pitched one. It’s all but certain to be a $1MM player option on the righty, who may still take the deal given how catastrophic the last few years have been. Betances is on the 60-day IL with a shoulder impingement at the moment, and since Opening Day 2019, he’s totaled just 13 2/3 innings due to injuries.

Beyond this group, there’s also a conditional player option in the Mariners’ deal with left-hander Yusei Kikuchi. Seattle has until three days after the World Series wraps up to decide whether it wants to exercise a quartet of one-year, $16.5MM options on Kikuchi — a total of four years and $66MM. All four must be exercised together. If they do not make that sizable investment, Kikuchi then has a one-year, $13MM player option for the 2022 season on which he must decide.

At least based on Kikuchi’s career numbers in MLB, it seems unlikely that the Mariners would pick up their end of the deal. He’s compiled a 5.22 ERA through his first 246 1/3 big league innings. That said, Kikuchi saw a major velocity spike in 2020 that he’s actually improved upon again in 2021. Fielding-independent metrics were much more bullish on him than ERA in 2020 (3.30 FIP, 3.37 xERA, 3.78 xFIP, 4.34 SIERA), and this year’s current 4.30 ERA is respectable. He’s also sporting career-bests in swinging-strike rate, opponents’ chase rate, walk rate and ground-ball rate.

It’s still a long shot that the Mariners will pick up all four years on Kikuchi, who’ll turn 30 in June. However, that may simply set him up for a return to the market. It’s certainly plausible that he pitches well enough to command more than the $13MM salary on his player option but less than the four years and $66MM on the Mariners’ end of the arrangement.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Cody Bellinger]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=450172 2021-05-11T02:38:17Z 2021-05-11T02:38:17Z The Dodgers have gone almost the entire season without superstar slugger Cody Bellinger, but it appears he’s making progress in his recovery from a hairline fracture in his left leg. The former MVP has begun running, as he posted on Instagram on Monday (h/t: David Vassagh of AM 570 LA Sports). As Vassagh notes, that seems to indicate he’s closing in on a return.

The Dodgers haven’t gotten any contributions from Bellinger since April 5, and while they fared swimmingly without him for a few weeks, they’ve been mired in a downward spiral of late. Since beginning the season a white-hot 13-2, the reigning World Series champions have dropped 15 of 20 to fall to 18-17 and 2 1/2 games back of the National League-leading Giants. While Los Angeles has received great production from Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor, who have filled in for Bellinger in center field, they’ll certainly be thrilled to add the latter back into their lineup when he’s ready.

Bellinger opened this season just 4-for-19 over 21 plate appearances, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t rebound if he’s healthy. The 25-year-old has put up tremendous numbers since debuting in 2017, and after starting off slowly in 2020, he went on a second-half tear to help LA to a title.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Sign Bibens-Dirkx, Quackenbush, Wilkerson To Minors Deals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=450079 2021-05-10T21:29:01Z 2021-05-10T21:28:00Z
  • The Dodgers signed right-handers Kevin Quackenbush, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, and Aaron Wilkerson to minor league contracts earlier this month, and all are on the roster for the team’s Triple-A affiliate.  Quackenbush is the most experienced of the trio, with 207 2/3 MLB innings with the Padres and Reds from 2014-18, and the 32-year-old is back in the Dodgers organization after previously pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2019.  Bibens-Dirkx was a member of several organizations before catching on with the Rangers in 2016 and posting a 5.27 ERA over 114 1/3 innings from 2017-18.  Wilkerson appeared in parts of three Major League seasons with the Brewers from 2017-19, posting a 6.88 ERA over 35 1/3 frames of work.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[NL Injury Notes: Dodgers, Padres, Brewers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=449402 2021-05-08T15:57:06Z 2021-05-08T15:57:06Z AJ Pollock of the Dodgers suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain on Friday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register (via Twitter). He’s being re-evaluated today. Pollock has been a force for good in Los Angeles this year, slashing .261/.313/.446 with 4 home runs across 99 plate appearances. Matt Beaty or Sheldon Neuse could see time in the outfield if Pollock needs time off. Elsewhere around the National League last night…

    • The Padres had a couple of players leave Friday’s game due to injury. Keone Kela left with forearm tightness, always a scary diagnoses. There has been no update as per his status. Austin Nola, meanwhile, only recently returned from the injured list, burst a blood vessel in his hand. The Padres are hopeful that he can return to the lineup as early as today, per Dennis Lin of the Athletic (via Twitter).
    • Brent Suter got a spot start for the Brewers on Friday, but he lasted just to the third inning before being removed due to injury. Early reports suggest Suter suffered from cramping in his right calf, per Sophia Minnaert of Bally Sports Wisconsin (via Twitter). That’s potentially a big sigh of relief for Milwaukee. Suter has been effective as a multi-inning reliever out of the pen tossing 16 2/3 innings in 12 outings prior to Friday’s spot start. He has a 2.70 ERA/3.58 FIP on the year with a strong 54.3 percent groundball rate, 22.4 percent strikeout rate, and 6.0 percent walk rate.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Activate Joe Kelly, Place Scott Alexander On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=447684 2021-05-07T16:08:42Z 2021-05-06T23:16:10Z The Dodgers have activated right-handed reliever Joe Kelly and placed lefty Scott Alexander on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to May 3) with inflammation in his pitching shoulder, Juan Toribio of MLB.com tweets.

    Kelly, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $25MM guarantee, hasn’t pitched at all in 2021 on account of ongoing shoulder problems. Those issues played a role in limiting Kelly to 10 innings last season, and he revealed last week that he underwent surgery in November. When healthy, the hard-throwing 32-year-old has given the Dodgers 61 1/3 innings of 4.11 ERA ball with a 26.5 percent strikeout rate, a 10.5 percent walk rate and a stellar 60.6 percent groundball rate.

    The addition of Kelly is a step forward for Los Angeles, but the loss of Alexander represents a step in the wrong direction for the reigning World Series champions. Alexander has been one of the Dodgers’ most effective relievers this year, having recorded a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 frames. While Alexander has only totaled five strikeouts, he has offset that by allowing one walk, and the 31-year-old has induced grounders at a 63.2 percent clip.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[MRI Reveals No Structural Damage For Brusdar Graterol]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=446803 2021-05-06T03:46:59Z 2021-05-06T03:43:58Z
  • Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol, placed on the injured list last week because of forearm tightness, was known to be headed for an MRI. Fortunately, testing showed no structural damage, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). That’s especially welcome news since the flamethrowing Graterol underwent a Tommy John procedure back in 2016. There’s still no indication when he might return to game action.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brusdar Graterol To Undergo MRI On Forearm]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=445168 2021-05-04T02:05:16Z 2021-05-04T02:05:16Z
  • Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol will undergo an MRI on his ailing right forearm Tuesday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The team placed Graterol on the IL last Thursday with forearm tightness – a rather ominous-sounding injury for someone who underwent Tommy John surgery in the past – and the 22-year-old hasn’t resumed throwing since then, according to Castillo. The Dodgers lost another of their promising young hurlers, righty starter Dustin May, to the dreaded TJ diagnosis on Monday.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Mulling Roster Options]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=444987 2021-05-04T03:35:59Z 2021-05-04T02:01:03Z 9:01pm: Pazos might not receive a promotion after all. Manager Dave Roberts said the Dodgers are still deciding on their options, Toribio tweets.

    4:45pm: The Dodgers have selected the contract of left-hander James Pazos, Juan Toribio of MLB.com relays. He’ll replace fellow southpaw Mike Kickham, whom the Dodgers designated for assignment Monday.

    Pazos, 29, joined the Dodgers on a minor league contract over the winter after spending the previous two seasons with the National League West rival Rockies. He ended up throwing only 15 2/3 innings with Colorado, including 5 1/3 last year. Pazos was beaten up over his small sample of work in 2020, when he surrendered 10 earned runs on 10 hits (three homers) and five walks. He also saw his average fastball velocity drop from 94 mph-plus to 92.1.

    Prior to his recent struggles, Pazos looked as if he was on track to carve out a successful big league career. During a 103 2/3-inning stretch with the Mariners from 2017-18, Pazos pitched to a 3.39 ERA/3.61 SIERA with a 24.4 percent strikeout rate, an 8.6 percent walk rate and a grounder percentage of 48.1.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Phil Bickford, Designate Mike Kickham]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=444818 2021-05-03T19:04:23Z 2021-05-03T18:50:47Z The Dodgers have claimed right-hander Phil Bickford off waivers from the Brewers.  Both teams have announced the move, with the Dodgers designating left-hander Mike Kickham for assignment to create roster space.

    Bickford pitched just one inning for the Brewers in 2021, to go along with his lone inning for the team last season.  Twice a first-round draft pick (for the Blue Jays in 2013 and, after opting to attend college, with the Giants in 2015), Bickford’s career has been stalled by injuries and a 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse in 2017.

    The righty is still only 25 years old, however, and has yet to pitch in either Double-A or Triple-A ball.  It could be that some time in a proper minor league game environment will help hone Bickford’s potential as a relief pitcher, since he recorded a whopping 53 strikeouts in 32 2/3 bullpen innings (with a 2.48 ERA) for Milwaukee’s high-A affiliate in 2019.

    Kickham signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in the offseason and had his contract selected by the team yesterday.  He tossed two innings of mop-up work in the Dodgers’ 16-4 victory over the Brewers, though Kickham allowed three earned runs.  The 32-year-old has now appeared in four Major League seasons, though with a sizeable gap in between — Kickham pitched for the Giants in 2013-14 and then worked in the minors before resurfacing for 14 innings with the Red Sox in 2020.

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