The Dodgers announced today that they’ve activated Corey Seager from the injured list and optioned first baseman/outfielder Matt Beaty to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Seager, 25, will ultimately miss just under a month due to a strained left hamstring. He’ll now rejoin a Dodgers roster that recently welcomed David Freese back from the injured list and is set to get A.J. Pollock back as well. Los Angeles still has a 13.5 game lead on the second-place Diamondbacks and will likely be in an all-the-more commanding position with several key players back to full strength. However, the L.A. front office still has some work to do in the three weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Here’s a look at the latest chatter on the Dodgers…
- The Dodgers have “varying levels of interest in multiple Giants relievers,” writes MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles harbor some degree of interest in each of Will Smith, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson and Reyes Moronta. That quartet likely appeals to the majority of contending clubs throughout the game, though, and there’s no indication within Morosi’s report that there are any substantive talks between the two sides. The Dodgers are loath to part with any of their top four prospects for a rental reliever, making Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Keibert Ruiz and their own Will Smith unlikely to change hands in any type of deal for one of San Francisco’s short-term assets.
- If the recent comments from Pirates GM Neal Huntington didn’t sufficiently quash the Dodgers/Felipe Vazquez connection, Morosi writes that Pittsburgh would require “at least two” of the four aforementioned top prospects (Lux, May, Smith, Ruiz) to headline a Vazquez deal. Between that and Huntington’s declaration that the team’s “expectation and anticipation is that Felipe will be closing out playoff games, be it this year or in the future with us,” it doesn’t seem wise to bank on Vazquez landing in Los Angeles (or anywhere else, for that matter).
- In a more high-level look at the Dodgers’ trade needs, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com points out that the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers have not been a team that has been willing to deal away its very best prospects, making a high-profile acquisition of Smith, Brad Hand, Vazquez, etc. less likely than some trades to more affordably acquire some second-tier relievers on the market. He suggests that a reunion with Watson or Blue Jays righty Daniel Hudson is more plausible than a marquee splash. (To be clear, those are speculative examples listed by Gurnick rather than specific trades that the Dodgers are actively pursuing.)
- Hyun-Jin Ryu’s gamble on accepting the qualifying offer made by the Dodgers could prove one of the wisest decisions of the offseason, writes Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, who notes that Ryu is now positioned to cash in on a major contract (without the burden of draft compensation, as players can only receive one qualifying offer in their careers). Indeed, over his past 191 1/3 regular-season innings, Ryu has a 1.83 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9 and a 48.6 percent ground-ball rate. More broadly, Castillo’s column is a terrific look at the long road that Ryu took from intriguing high-school prospect coveted by the Dodgers and Twins to 2019 All-Star Game starter. Dodgers fans who have not previously familiarized themselves with Ryu’s path to stardom in the United States will want to be sure to give the story a read-through.