Why The Dodgers Should Trade For Jacob deGrom

Writer: Layten Praytor             

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won five consecutive division titles and are coming off a World Series appearance that saw them lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Houston Astros. Usually, those accolades would be enough validation for a franchise. However, in such a huge market such as Los Angeles and a team as storied as the Dodgers, enough is never enough. 

The Boys in Blue got off to a rough start in April and May, tallying a 16-26 record through their first 42 contest. Granted injuries played a role in the squad’s struggles, Justin Turner had his wrist broken the week before Opening Day, Corey Seager required Tommy John surgery on his balky elbow two weeks into the season, as well as Clayton Kershaw and other starting pitchers seeing time on the disabled list.

Since then, the Dodgers have turned it around as their record sits at 56-46 and now hold a half game lead over the Diamondbacks. The team has gotten huge contributions from unlikely sources from the likes of Max Muncy, Matt Kemp, and Ross Stripling. With the trade deadline less than a week away, they’ve already acquired the market’s best position player in former Orioles shortstop Manny Machado for five prospects. But, they still have needs, specifically with the pitching staff. However the front office has always been creative about ways to improve the team and this time should be no different. They’ve already gotten the best position player available, now it is time to be uber-aggressive and go get the market’s top starting pitcher available: Jacob deGrom.

While Ross Stripling has been a revelation for the starting rotation and top prospect Walker Buehler has shown excellent promise, a team with championship expectations and aspirations like the Dodgers cannot afford to bank on pitchers with less established track records and an ace in Clayton Kershaw who has spent significant time on the DL each of the past three seasons. The Mets don’t seem likely to deal deGrom, who has two years of team control left, however they are 15 games under .500 and with teams like Atlanta and Philadelphia only getting better, New York must understand the position they are in not only now, but in the future. They could demand a king’s ransom and more than likely get 2-3 top prospects in return and restock their farm system in one fell swoop.

  credit:brewcrewball

credit:brewcrewball

The Yankees have shown interest and have the prospect capital necessary to make a deal, yet the two New York franchises have been reluctant to make deals over the years. The Brewers and Braves have also shown interest in deGrom, but the Brewers lack the prospect depth required to pry the right hander away from Queens, and the Braves have one of the top farm systems in baseball, yet it is hard to envision the Mets dealing their ace to a division rival for the next two years.

This is where the Dodgers can seize a golden opportunity and instantly better position themselves to end their 30 year World Series drought for this year and the following two years ahead. Adding deGrom would give the starting rotation a 1-2 punch with Kershaw that is has missed since Zack Greinke and thought it had when Yu Darvish was acquired at this time last year. Not only that, but deGrom would provide insurance if Kershaw decided to opt out of his contract this offseason. The Dodgers only forked over one of their top ten prospects for Machado, leaving enough on the farm for perhaps one more bold move. It would likely take a package of Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler, Keibert Ruiz/Will Smith, and Logan Forsythe to land the vaunted right-hander. And perhaps, that still might not get the Mets to budge.

Whatever the cost, it is absolutely worth a shot for a team in a position like Los Angeles that was stumped last October and denied their first world championship since 1988.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won five consecutive division titles and are coming off a World Series appearance that saw them lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Houston Astros. Usually, those accolades would be enough validation for a franchise. However, in such a huge market such as Los Angeles and a team as storied as the Dodgers, enough is never enough.