1. Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers
OK, Alex Verdugo is the Dodgers’ No, 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. So why would LA trade him?
Well, for one, he’s s seems to be a man without a roster spot yet again in 2019.
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Now, I realize Kipnis is a throw-in here. No one on their right mind would part with a top prospect for a guy who’s struggled to hit .220. But the Dodgers have the bank account to absorb Kipnis’ contract.
The Tribe could part with a a current starting pitcher or move some prospects to secure the versatile outfielder from LA. Perhaps Shane Bieber would get some attention. He’s no longer listed near the top of the Tribe’s prospect rankings, but only because he was a mainstay in the major leagues toward the end of the season.
As for Verdugo, he’ll be 22 until May. He was a second-round choice of the Dodgers in 2014. Despite being really young, the kid’s ready to play, having amassed over 700 at-bats at the Triple-A level.
The Indians should try to get Verdugo because he’s still a player “on the up.” He’s not some Melky Cabrera type fix, nor is he Lonnie Chisenhall.
He’s a great prospect who possesses elite level plate discipline. That’s a good thing since the Indians are likely to lose someone with pretty good plate discipline in Dr. Smooth.
LA will be contenders again in 2019. They could use help bolstering their rotation.
If Verdugo turns out to be a player, perhaps he could help lift the Indians over the hump.