Let’s call this the season of the shortstop rumors. After the Dodgers lost Gavin Lux to a season-ending knee injury, the “ambulance chasers,” as LA president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman called them, came knocking down the door trying to interest the team in a slightly used brand new shortstop to replace him. The Dodgers stayed patient and in-house with internal options like offseason acquisition Miguel Rojas and utility man Chris Taylor to fill the role. Along the way, superstar right fielder Mookie Betts has also got in the mix at the position.
Still, that doesn’t mean the Dodgers wouldn’t be a bit better with a more permanent fixture up the middle. And as the season has gone along, the rumors involving the Dodgers and floundering Chicago White Sox have become more prevalent.
You see, the White Sox have two-time AL All-Star Tim Anderson as a prime trade chip. And with the Sox in need of a full rebuild more than ever, it may be time for them to explore putting TA on the trade block in an attempt to reload and rebuild the farm system.
Anderson is among the shortstop names who have most often been linked to LA. He’s a star and the Dodgers love star additions. Bleacher Report columnist Joel Reuter explored some hypothetical trade targets for LA recently and Anderson was right there at the top of the list.
The fit here is perfect if the Chicago White Sox decide to make one of their faces of the franchise available via trade. Tim Anderson is in the final guaranteed season of his contract, but he has a $14 million club option for 2024 that is well below his open market value. He would give the Dodgers a bridge to Lux returning from his ACL injury.
If the White Sox decide to throw in the towel, Anderson is an obvious trade chip along with Lucas Giolito. The likelihood that he jumps ship once he does reach free agency seems to be increasing as the losses pile up this year.
Via Bleacher Report
We’ve discussed the Anderson trade angle at length here over the last few months. The veteran shortstop fits on the roster in a number of ways — even if MLB Network analyst Alanna Rizzo thinks otherwise — and would undoubtedly be an upgrade over guys like Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor who have struggled at times on the offensive side of things.
Andrew Friedman has stayed patient with the roster so far and has been rewarded with a first place club once again. However, where his hand may be forced is with the team’s need to add pitching to the team. Specifically starting pitching after the loss of Dustin May who could be out for one month, in the absolute best case scenario, but more likely two-to-three months. As Reuter mentioned in the blurb above, the White Sox have additional tradeable assets. More than just Tim Anderson.
Lucas Giolito is a former All-Star that fits the mold of someone who could get better in Dodger blue. Not just because it’s a great uniform, but also the coaching staff’s proclivity for bringing out the best in pitchers who may have lost their way, we’ll say. Giolito has been fairly mid since his All-Star season in 2019, but he hasn’t been bad.
2019: 14-9, 3.41 ERA, 29 GS *All-Star
2020: 4-3, 3.48 ERA, 12 GS (60 game season)
2021: 11-9, 3.53 ERA, 31 GS
2022: 11-9, 4.90 ERA, 30 GS
2023: 2-3, 3.86 ERA, 9 GS
He’s also on an expiring contract and it’s hard to see him re-signing with the Sox with the way things are going on the south side. Chicago is 17-29 heading into play on Saturday, fourth place in the AL Central. It would be smart for the club to maximize the roster it has and flip assets for much needed prospect talent for the future. However, ESPN insider Buster Olney told DodgersNation.com recently that he was unsure if White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is willing to “blow it up” this season.
“I’m having a hard time getting a read on [if the White Sox will be sellers at the trade deadline]. Their owner is such an X factor. He is known as the most loyal owner in baseball. He’s also in his mid-80s. Do we think that he’s going to blow up his team entirely at mid-season and essentially signal a three or four year rebuild? I don’t know. They need to keep Tim Anderson.”
Via Dodgers Nation TV
Beyond the Sants Monica native Giolito, the Sox have a few other veteran arms general manager Rick Hahn could look to move, including the struggling Lance Lynn, who has an $18 million club option for 2024.
The Dodgers have gone all in on multi-star blockbuster deals before, most recently with the 2021 trade for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer with the White Sox that cost LA its top two prospects. Barring one more injury in the rotation, the team may be more inclined to stand pat and sort through what it has. But an LA-Chicago connection seems to make a lot sense, if things change for both clubs over the next few months.
Keep it tuned to Dodgers Nation all through the trade deadline for the latest reactions and analysis to rumors involving your boys in blue.
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