The Los Angeles Dodgers made significant changes to their roster Monday at the MLB trade deadline. They made a deal with the Oakland A’s to acquire Josh Reddick and Rich Hill. In return, the A’s will receive three minor league pitchers from L.A., Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, and Jharel Cotton.
With this move the Dodgers fill two obvious needs, in the outfield and with pitching, giving them a better chance to top the NL west. Reddick and Hill were set to hit the free-agent market at the end of the season but the Dodgers are likely to pick up both their contracts. Reddick is only 29 years old and averaging a .296/.368/.449 slash in 272 at bats. Hill is currently unavailable to the Dodgers and on the disabled list due to a groin strain, however, the organization expects him to be ready soon. With the status of Clayton Kershaw still uncertain, the Dodgers are looking to activate him and relieve the bullpen.
With Reddick set to start in the outfield, the Dodgers informed Yasiel Puig he would either be traded or sent to the minors. Sources say Puig “stormed off” after getting the news and did not fly with the team to Colorado Monday. Rumors had been swirling around for months regarding a trade for the slumping Puig. On Sunday Puig said, “I’d like to stay here. But I also understand it’s a business. You never know where you are going to end up.” At 25 years old with room to improve, Puig may greatly benefit from time in the minors. Although he is not happy about the decision, he has not been productive enough for the Dodgers to keep him. Reddick, on the other hand, will give the Dodgers an instant jolt at the position. He has a strong batting average and can hold his own in the outfield.
With their two latest additions the Dodgers got a great return on a few prospects. They’ve added enough talent to keep them at bay until Kershaw returns. That puts them in a realistic position to take the NL west. The Dodgers are just two games behind the San Francisco Giants for first place.