As the Los Angeles Dodgers look for potential upgrades prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline, Miami Marlins All-Star Garrett Cooper has popped up on their radar.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post and MLB Network, the Dodgers “have been looking” at Cooper as a trade option.
Heyman did note teams in the Juan Soto market, including the Dodgers, may wait for a resolution to that situation before moving to other hitters.
Soto is certainly the biggest domino that could fall before the trade deadline.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that “multiple executives” around MLB are unsure of what the Washington Nationals are planning to do.
One executive told Passan that Soto will be dealt because of the Nationals’ ownership situation, with the Lerner family, which has owned the franchise since 2006, looking to sell the club.
“The Nationals currently are up for sale, and the notion that new ownership’s first move would be to trade a future Hall of Famer in his early prime, the executive said, is problematic.
Dealing Soto now, he said, would offer the new owner a clean slate,” Passan wrote.
Heyman and Joel Sherman recently reported the St. Louis Cardinals are emerging as a potential front-runner for Soto, but six other teams are also mentioned as possible landing spots.
The Dodgers are among that group because they have a mix of young players and prospects to offer the Nationals, as well as the financial resources to give Soto a long-term contract extension.
Cooper isn’t the same caliber of player as Soto, but he could be a positive addition to Los Angeles’ lineup if a deal comes together.
The 31-year-old is hitting .279/.347/.426 with seven homers and 40 RBI in 84 games this season.
The Dodgers can use an extra bat at designated hitter down the stretch.
Edwin Rios is on the 60-day injured list with a hamstring issue. Max Muncy is having a disappointing season with a .612 OPS in 79 games.
Cooper is only making $2.5 million this season and has one more year of team control before being eligible for free agency.
He’s not a difference-maker like Soto, but the Dodgers already have a loaded roster and only need to make marginal improvements to solidify their standing as the World Series favorite in the National League.