The Los Angeles Dodgers are acquiring RHP Tyler Glasnow and OF Manuel Margot from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Jonny Deluca and RHP Ryan Pepiot.
On the same day they introduced Shohei Ohtani as a Dodger, the team swung a big trade. The Dodgers agreed to a deal for right-hander Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot from the Rays in exchange for two young players, right-hander Ryan Pepiot and outfielder Jonny Deluca. Both Pepiot and Deluca haven’t reached arbitration and have five and six years of team control left, respectively. (The completion of the deal is subject to COVID-19 outbreaks.)
The Dodgers are only acquiring one year of Glasnow’s service and the $25 million he’s owed for 2024. Glasnow is one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy. However, he has not been healthy for any significant length of time in his major-league career. He struck out a third of the batters he faced in 2023 after returning from Tommy John surgery, and his 2.91 FIP would have ranked second in the AL if he’d qualified. That would put him between league-leader Sonny Gray and Kevin Gausman. Glasnow was even better in 2021 before the surgery, with a 2.77 FIP and a 2.66 ERA. Both would have led the league if he’d qualified, although that year he only threw 88 innings before the injury.
Manuel Margot is a high-contact hitter with very little power. His value largely came from his plus defense anywhere in the outfield. However, his defensive value has not been on display since a knee injury in 2022.
Ryan Pepiot, who the Rays acquired in the trade, was outstanding in five September starts, throwing more strikes than he ever has in pro ball. He also faced some of the lowest-scoring offenses in baseball. With his grade-70 changeup, his fastball played better. He also has an improved slider and has a good track record in pitching development.
Jonny Deluca was a 25th-round pick out of Oregon in 2019 and debuted last year at age 24. He showed plus speed and reasonable pitch recognition for a rookie and could become a regular. There are risks involved for the Dodgers because the stakes are higher for them. It’s World Series or bust for Los Angeles this year.