Grading a terrifying Dodgers-A’s trade to make Los Angeles truly unbeatable

Mason Miller in the Dodgers bullpen would be beyond unfair.
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers are unbelievable. They've won 100+ games in each of the last four seasons (excluding 2020) and had one of the greatest offseasons in MLB history, landing Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernandez, and the list goes on.

They got off to a bit of an uneven start, going 12-11 in their first 23 games, but have won 17 of their last 21 since to improve to 29-15 entering play on Wednesday. They've established themselves as one of the best teams in baseball, and it feels like they're just getting started.

When the trade deadline rolls around, the Dodgers will almost certainly do something to improve, but the question is, what will they do? There are no major weaknesses on this team. Zachary Rymer of Bleacher Report proposes that they try and shake up the league in the craziest way possible and make their team unbeatable by acquiring Mason Miller in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

Grading a Mason Miller-Dodgers trade that nobody wants to see

Here's the trade Rymer proposes:

Mason Miller - Dodgers

The Dodgers would be acquiring Mason Miller, arguably the best reliever in the game right now, for three of their top six prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

It's a lot to give up, obviously, but let's not get it twisted. Mason Miller is an absolute stud. He has a 0.98 ERA in 14 appearances and 18.1 innings pitched. He averages over 100 mph with his four-seamer, and has a devastating slider as well. He seems to only be getting better, and is under team control through the 2029 campaign.

This Dodgers bullpen ranks fourth in the league in ERA entering play on Wednesday without Miller. Can you imagine how good they'd be with him? Evan Phillips setting up for him would be ridiculous.

Yes, the Dodgers would be giving up a lot of prospect capital here, but they'd be getting an uber-talented right-hander who'd be with them for at least five more seasons and presumably longer. It's worth their while whether he's in the bullpen or starting games.

From Oakland's perspective, this is where things fall apart. Yes, getting three of the Dodgers' six best prospects according to MLB Pipeline sounds good, but they can do better.

The best prospect is Rushing who is ranked No. 2 in their system and No. 53 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list. Rushing is a catcher who currently has an .877 OPS for AA Tulsa. He'd be a strong piece to get, but he's the best piece in the deal by far. He's not good enough for that to be the case.

De Paula is just 18 years old and has a .660 OPS in Single-A. Sure, he can be good sometime in the distant future, but he won't be contributing in the majors for many years. Kyle Hurt is the most MLB-ready of the bunch, but he's not considered a Top 100 prospect and is currently on the 60-day IL with a shoulder injury.

The A's would be acquiring a catcher (they already have Shea Langeliers who has broken out to begin this season), an outfielder who is nowhere near MLB-ready, and an injured starter. That's not enough for a dynamic pitcher with at least five more years of team control.

It's around the best offer that the Dodgers can realistically make. but that's the issue. It's going to take an enormous haul to pry Miller out of Oakland. The Dodgers simply don't have that without trading away some of their MLB players. If a Miller trade does go down, it's hard seeing the Dodgers being the team to get him.

This would be an excellent deal for the Dodgers and a tough one for A's fans to swallow.

Dodgers trade grade: A
Athletics trade grade: C-