The Los Angeles Dodgers lived the ultimate charmed life in 2022, spending 170 of 181 days in first place en route to a historic 111-win season.
Cut to now, and the 2023 team would barely make the playoffs if the season ended today.
At 44-34, the Dodgers are in third place in the National League West and clinging to the league's third wild-card spot. Losses in 19 out of 36 games have only driven home the point that they must find outside help before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
Their biggest need? Arms for a injury-laden pitching staff whose ERA is nearly two runs higher than it was last season.
"In spring training, I did not expect that in July we would aggressively be looking for pitching. With the injuries and where we are, I think that focus has shifted," president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic on June 19. "There's no question that [targeting pitching] is more likely than it was in March."
Like we did with the New York Yankees last week, let's go shopping on the Dodgers' behalf.
What Do the Dodgers Need?
Especially with ace left-hander Julio Urías nearing his return from a hamstring strain, it's worth clarifying that starting pitching isn't the only area of need at Chavez Ravine.
The bullpen also ranks 20th in wins above replacement, though the eventual returns of Daniel Hudson and Shelby Miller will resemble trade-deadline pickups.
More pressing are the holes in the Dodgers' dangerous yet inconsistent offense, specifically regarding four positions that rank in the bottom half of Major League Baseball in wins above replacement:
Center field: 0.5 (23rd)
Second base: 0.6 (21st)
Left field: 0.7 (T-18th)
Shortstop: 0.8 (22nd)
At short and in left field, the Dodgers just aren't getting enough out of veterans Miguel Rojas and David Peralta. Rookies Miguel Vargas and James Outman, meanwhile, have tailed off at second base and in center field after each had a sensational April.
If the Dodgers have one advantage on the summer trading market, it's an elite farm system loaded with top 100 prospects. Seemingly, another is room to spend after shaving about $60 million off their opening payroll from 2022.
With these things in mind, we've pitched five trades that would get the Dodgers back on track in the NL West and ranked them according to their potential impact. And with help from MLB.com's prospect rankings and validations from Baseball Trade Values, we've done our best to conjure fair offers.