The resurgent Los Angeles Dodgers fortified themselves by acquiring right fielder Josh Reddick and starter Rich Hill three hours before the trade deadline, sources told Yahoo Sports, sending three top pitching prospects to the Oakland A’s for the pair of pending free agents.
The Dodgers, just two games back of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West, went for the highest-upside rentals on the market in Reddick, a steady bat with a powerful arm, and Hill, who led the American League in ERA before suffering a pesky blister that landed him on the disabled list.
The return of Hill, 36, is imperative to the deal working out for the Dodgers. Injuries have limited him to just 12 innings since May. His return would stabilize a rotation missing Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood and the rehabbing Brett Anderson. It also cost significant prospect capital in three right-handed pitchers.
Grant Holmes, 20, is the prize. A first-round pick in 2014, Holmes has a 4.02 ERA in the tough-to-pitch-in Cal League this season and could move quickly through the A’s organization. Francellis Montas, 23, is a 100-mph-throwing starter most evaluators believe is likeliest to become a high-impact relief pitcher. Jharel Cotton, 24, is a strikeout artist with a tremendous changeup whose home run issues have stifled an otherwise strong season at Triple-A.
Oakland had struggled to find a match for Hill most of the week, with teams wary of the blister issues and his pending free agency. Reddick was an easier match, and he fits with the Dodgers – particularly if they deal Yasiel Puig, which they’ve considered doing in the run-up to the deadline.
Reddick is in the midst of a career-best offensive season, hitting .296/.368/.449 with a walk-to-strikeout rate of nearly 1-to-1. He also boasts one of the game’s best outfield arms, strong enough to rival Puig’s.
The Dodgers continued to explore other trade options before the 4 p.m. ET deadline, according to sources, including talking with the Tampa Bay Rays about their cache of starting pitchers. The Dodgers’ current rotation includes Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy. Bud Norris, another starter recently acquired by Los Angeles, left his Sunday start in the first inning with back issues.