The three relievers are expected to be made available in trades before the upcoming deadlines – July 31 is the non-waiver trade deadline and August 31 is the waiver deadline.
Writes Danny Knobler:
The Red Sox, Orioles and Tigers also have scouts in Milwaukee this week. The Dodgers’ four National League West rivals have also shown interest at times in the Brewer relievers, as well as in starter Yovani Gallardo.
Axford (3.86 ERA), Rodriguez (1.25) and Gonzalez (3.19) have all pitched well enough to tempt teams in need of bullpen help. Axford’s $5 million contract will scare off some teams, but the Dodgers haven’t been shy about taking on money.
Kenley Jansen is 7-for-9 in save situations and has a 2.38 ERA in the month since taking over for Brandon League as the Dodgers closer, but the rest of Don Mattingly‘s bullpen has been unreliable. Dodger relievers have combined for a 4.31 ERA, which ranks 27th in the big leagues, ahead of only the Mariners, Phillies and Astros. The Dodgers have 16 blown saves, two behind the Cubs and Diamondbacks, who lead the majors with 18 apiece.
The Dodgers will scout more than just these three relievers before the trade deadlines, and this report shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Axford, Rodriguez and Gonzalez are their top three targets. They are merely three possible targets.
Right now, the contending teams are gathering data about possible acquisitions, and the Brewers are among a handful of teams that have already committed to being sellers (the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros are certainly in this group). We’ll pass along any other names as they emerge.