Shortly before the non-waiver trade deadline came into effect at 1:00 pm PT today, the Dodgers made a few last minutes deals. The team that I am happy to say is the best team in baseball, made a few trades to increase their chances of a World Series victory. Who are these players? Yu Darvish, Tony Watson, and Tony Cingrani were all acquired within an hour of the deadline. Somehow, the Dodgers managed to make these deals without trading away their top three prospects — Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, and Yadier Alverez.
The trade for the Japanese-born right-handed starter Yu Darvish was the loudest of the trades the Dodgers made at the deadline. In 167 games in Japan, Darvish had a record of 93 wins and 38 losses. Over his seven years in Japan, Darvish had a 1.99 ERA. He signed with the Texas Rangers in 2012 as an international free agent.
General Manager Farhan Zaidi announced on Monday that he is not sure when Darvish will start or when the players will join the club. The Dodgers spent Monday traveling to Atlanta, Georgia. Zaidi also said that they wanted to add another starter for October.
“Having four [starters in October] is better than having three,” Zaidi said.
In the past, Darvish has pitched very well, but he has struggled this year. His record is 6-9 and he has a 4.01 ERA with a WHIP of 1.17. I am not terribly worried about Darvish’s stats, however, due to the fact that the Dodgers have one of the best pitching coaches in the Major Leagues. Rick Honeycutt has been able to help many pitchers over his career as the pitching coach. Honeycutt is the man who helped Clayton Kershaw develop a pickoff move. He is the one who helped Alex Wood change from being a disaster last year to being the Dodgers second Ace this year. Honeycutt also helped Rich Hill overcome blisters and mechanical issues to make him the Dodgers’ third ace. I think that it will only take a little bit of time before Yu Darvish is another Dodgers’ Ace. he will be up for free-agency at the end of the season.
The Dodgers sent their 21st prospect, Oneil Cruz, and right-handed pitcher Angel German to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tony Watson. The former Pirates’ closer has only ten saves this year and a record of 3.66, his worst since his rookie year. Despite the stats, the Dodgers believe that he can help their bullpen. Once again, I think that it will only take a little bit of time and Rick Honeycutt will have him fixed as well. Watson will be eligible for free-agency at the end of the season.
The Dodgers sent Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrik Clementina to the Reds for 28-year-old Tony Cingrani. Cingrani can pitch as a starter or come out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. It is more likely that he will be doing the latter. Unlike the other players the Dodgers traded for, Cingrani will not be eligible for free-agency until 2020. In 25 games this year, Cingrani’s ERA is 5.40. He allowed nine runs in his last start that lasted 5 2/3 innings. The Dodgers beleive that a tweak of game plan will change the results for Cingrani.