We know what you're thinking. At 45-22, seven games superior to anyone else in the National League, and looking at their current 9.5-game lead on the Colorado Rockies in the NL West, you would assume that the Los Angeles Dodgers are not gonna be big spenders at the trade deadline.
But if there's one weakness in their loaded roster, however, it's the bullpen, which holds a 4.42 ERA. That ranks 18th among all major league 'pens and no current reliever on the club has a sub-3.00 ERA.
Therefore, with the trade deadline quietly approaching on July 31, the Dodgers are reportedly looking to acquire Cleveland Indians star closer Brad Hand, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Though the Tribe have been an up-and-down club in 2019, Hand has been one of the few sources of consistency for manager Terry Francona. In 27.2 innings, the two-time All-Star has saved 19 games and boasts a microscopic 0.98 ERA to go along with 40 strikeouts.
The left-hander was formerly a starter up until the 2016 season. Struggling to find his footing, he moved to the bullpen and since then has recorded a 2.45 ERA and logged 73 saves alongside 361 strikeouts in a shade over 268 innings.
If there was ever a move to compliment LA's stacked lineup and dominant pitching staff, trading for Hand would be just it. His reliability to close out games would immediately transcend the Dodgers from a World Series contender to the undisputed favorite to win the Fall Classic.
Whether the Dodgers would continue to roll with Kenley Jansen as the team's closer, or give Hand the opportunity to finish games despite being a southpaw. With Jansen looking far less dominant than he did during his ridiculous 2017 season, perhaps the Dodgers would give the Indians' star the upper-Hand.
While trade talks between the two sides will likely heat up as we approach the All-Star break, it remains to be seen if the Indians will be sellers at the deadline.