The Dodgers are apparently serious about upgrading at this trade deadline, and have the first real surprise move of Monday. Los Angeles has traded for both Josh Reddick and Rich Hill, with the A’s giving up both of their pending free agent pieces for a number of Dodgers prospects.
Reddick is a productive player both at the plate and with his glove, and his presence might allow the Dodgers the ability to shop Yasiel Puig for the few hours remaining in the trade deadline. Reddick has hit .296/.368/.449 this season, though he’s been a little worse than that since returning from the disabled list after suffering a thumb fracture. Still, .258/.327/.423 with quality defense from a player whose home games came in a pitcher’s park isn’t bad, especially when you know he could hit better the further removed from injury he is.
Hill will add to a rotation that is still without Clayton Kershaw — at least, once Hill’s blister concerns are behind him. The veteran lefty had a career resurgence and switch back to the rotation with the Red Sox at the end of 2016, and saw that success continue after signing a one-year deal with the A’s this past offseason. Over 14 starts, Hill has a 181 ERA+ with 10.7 strikeouts per nine. If Kershaw comes back healthy from his back injury, and Hill can get back from his blisters with that kind of dominance intact, the Dodgers suddenly have themselves a rotation — especially since Brandon McCarthy is back from Tommy John surgery and pitching well.
Both of Hill and Reddick are pending free agents, but they can’t be given the qualifying offer now that they’ve been traded in-season. So, if they leave Los Angeles after 2016, they truly are rentals that the Dodgers gave up a number of prospects for. If Los Angeles wins, though, they won’t worry too much about that point.
Frankie Montas, who began the year as a top-100 prospect but missed the first few months of the season recovering from rib surgery, is one such prospect heading to the A’s. Jharel Cotton, who throws hard and misses bats and looks primed for a move to the bullpen, is another. Grant Holmes is the headlining prospect of the deal, though, he is still young and unproven. The 20-year-old right-hander is in High-A ball, striking out 8.5 batters per nine.
The Dodgers managed to keep their very best prospects, and the A’s flipped two pending free agents for a few promising arms. It remains to be seen if the plan works out for either, of course, but as far as plans go, both sides seem to have good ones.
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