The Los Angeles Dodgers have proven over the last year that they aren’t afraid to make big trades. In 2012, they made a big splash when they acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez, among others. One season later, the club could be on the verge of making a few more impactful moves.
According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the Dodgers are interested in Francisco Rodriguez. Better known as K-Rod, the Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has been one of the best relievers in the MLB this season. In just under 25 innings, Rodriguez has allowed just 17 hits and three earned runs. He’s converted all 10 of his save opportunities.
L.A. has bounced back from a poor start to the year. Through 98 games, the Dodgers have a half-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West after winning eight of their last 10 games. Still, the team has a lot of room for improvement. The Dodgers have one of the best rotations in the league, but their bullpen hasn’t been able to keep pace. Los Angeles ranked 12th in the NL with a 3.88 ERA from its relievers.
While the Dodgers need help in the bullpen, the Brewers are looking to get value for some of their best players. They sit 19 games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals, and have virtually no chance of competing for a playoff spot. After having lost Ryan Braun for the year with a PED suspension, Milwaukee will be a seller as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
Relievers John Axford and Mike Gonzalez are also options for the Dodgers. Axford has a 3.46 ERA this year and has experience as a closer. Gonzalez has been in the majors for 10 seasons and has allowed just a .682 OPS to left-handed batters.
The Dodgers have already begun making moves in the hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in 2009. They traded for Ricky Nolasco earlier in July, who is having one of the best years of his career. With the Miami Marlins, he pitched to a 3.85 ERA, but won only five times because of little run support.
L.A. had, reportedly, been looking to sign Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. That is no longer the case, though, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Gurnick reports that the club isn’t in pursuit of Gonzalez, who could cost them close to $50 million. The Dodgers already have the highest payroll in the NL and are second only to the New York Yankees in baseball.