Buying the NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers (55-40) are the biggest buyers and are at the top of all trade rumors as the deadline approaches. Money is barely an object in L.A., so contracts don’t factor in much. They have money to spend, and the luxury tax is not a deterrent. They are chasing the Braves and need some big boost to be able to toe-to-toe with them in the eventual NLCS.
Marcus Stroman is the most coveted Cub going into the trade deadline, and Chicago will be looking to move him this year to save some cash and stock the farm with future talent. Stroman is 10-6 with a 2.88 ERA and 101 strikeouts on the year.
The Dodgers could bring back Bellinger in that trade as well. The two-time All-Star brought a World Series back to L.A. and was a fan favorite. The Dodgers acquire Stroman and Bellinger for SP Julio Urias, RP Alexander Reyes along with prospects OF Jonny Deluca, SS Eddys Leonard, RHP Nick Nastriniand either catcher Diego Cartaya or Dalton Rushin.
With Urias gone, another starter is needed; Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season. With a 2.69 ERA, .97 WHIP, and 88 SO E-Rod is an adequate upgrade over Urias and will be cheaper and more effective in the long run. Dodgers sending SS Joendry Vargas, RHP Landon Knack, and INF Devin Mann should motivate the Tigers and benefit both clubs.
No trade conversations in L.A. would be complete or valid without a Shohei Ohtani trade bit. The Dodgers and Ohtani make all the sense in the world and elevate the Dodgers to the best team in the NL. Pulling off the Ohtani trade would solidify an NLCS and probable World Series appearance.
Shohei would get to stay in L.A., plus the Dodgers get a significant enough international fanbase boost to set any cost. Acquiring a Cy Young contender and MVP favorite at the deadline would be epic. Moving C Diego Cartaya is a giving, the Dodgers have Will Smith as their catch for the foreseeable future. Cartaya, IF Michael Busch, RHP Gavin Stone, and rookie phenom Bobbie Miller plus one more top-20 prospect, would be ideal for both clubs and out of any other club offers.