We are now about 10 minutes past the “official” trade deadline, and the Dodgers have traded for a pair of lefty relievers. They have traded for Pirates reliever Tony Watson and Reds reliever Tony Cingrani.
dodgers nearing deal for pirates lefty reliever tony watson. full story:https://t.co/urqwua3mvI
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2017
Source: Cingrani traded to #Dodgers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2017
It is not yet known what the Dodgers have given up in either deal, but based on their numbers and recent history, it is unlikely to be much.
This season Watson does have a fairly good ERA at 3.66, but his FIP is a full point higher at 4.69 and has not pitched well. In 46.2 innings pitched, Watson has struck out 35 batters, walked 14, allowed 7 home runs and 57 hits.
Watson’s 2017 season appears to be a downward trend after a 2016 with a 3.06 ERA and 4.37 FIP, both more than a full point higher than his 2015 campaign.
There may be some reason for hope, however. As Dave Cameron points out, Watson has the second lowest exit velocity allowed this season:
LA might as well name themselves the Exit Velocities at this point. Lowest EVs
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) July 31, 2017
As well in the world of selective endpoints, since 6/9, Watson has pitched to a 2.66 ERA and 3.20 FIP, though still 1.54 WHIP in that time allowing 25 hits and 6 walks.
Cingrani has had a tough go of things the last few seasons. Ever since his very good rookie season with a 2.92 ERA and 3.78 FIP in 104.2 innings pitched, he has not had lower than a 4.14 ERA or 4.48 FIP. This season, in fact, has actually been the worst of his career with a massive home run problem, sitting at 3.47 HR/9 at the moment.
As far as the Dodgers go, a big thing they were looking for this trade deadline was a dominant lefty reliever who could handle lefty hitters. Buster Olney tweeted an interesting stat just after the trade:
Lefties against the Dodgers’ new lefty Tony Cingrani this year: .293 in 41 at-bats, 1.155 OPS.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2017
So in looking for the good here, Cingrani has traditionally been a good strikeout pitcher, with a 9.29 K/9 in his career. His big problems have been walks and home runs, as he’s given up 4.55 BB/9 and 1.35 HR/9 in his career as well. However, in 292.2 innings pitched in his career, he’s only allowed 248 hits, so that is definitely a plus.
If you were looking for some selective endpoints to help here, his most recent games played are going to disappoint you. From 7/16 till 7/28, he has pitched 5.2 innings with 7 Ks, but has allowed 2 BB, 5 HR, and 12 hits with a 14.29 ERA and 13.21 FIP.
Before that going back to 4/6, Cingrani had pitched 17.2 innings with 17 K, 4 BB and 4 HR allowed with a 2.55 ERA and 5.02 FIP. So it was at the very least better.
Cheap and Fixable
Neither of these relievers are sexy roster moves, but they are going to end up being very cheap to acquire and it is even more likely that people in the Dodgers front office saw something in both guys and think they can be fixed to help out the bullpen. Time will only tell if these guys will be additions to the roster or not, but it is better than trading Walker Buehler or Alex Verdugo for a reliever, no matter how good.