The Los Angeles Dodgers are already putting that money they saved on Shohei Ohtani’s contract to good use. In their follow-up move to signing the biggest free agent of the offseason they are now making the biggest blockbuster trade of the winter so far.
In a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Dodgers are acquiring Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot.
Glasnow is the real prize of the trade, as he can slot in near the top of the Dodgers rotation next season. The 30-year-old has been oft-injured throughout his career, but when he is on the mound there are few pitchers who are more dominant than the 6-foot-8 flamethrower.
Glasnow was on the trade block this offseason due to a contract extension he signed with the Rays back in 2021, after he was coming off Tommy John surgery. The deal bought out his final year of arbitration at a discounted $5.35 million, with the kicker of a $25 million salary for the 2024 season, which would have been his first year of free agency.
The Rays could not carry that $25 million salary on their books and were destined to trade Glasnow and now do so in this move. They also clear the $10 million owed to Manuel Margot in the trade as well. Margot also has a $12 million club option for the 2025 season, that carries a $2 million buyout.
Margot was once regarded as a great defensive outfielder, but has graded out closer to league average over the last few years. Regardless, he is a right-handed bat who could become more effective in the Dodgers system where they get the most out of certain hitters in platoons.
Again though, this deal is about Glasnow, who is expected to sign an extension with the Dodgers once this all becomes finalized.
Glasnow is coming off a career-high 120 innings pitched, where he posted a 3.53 ERA and struck out 162 batters. If Glasnow can remain healthy with the Dodgers he could be a great frontline arm for them for years to come.
What Are the Rays Getting Back?
The Tampa Bay Rays did really well for themselves in this deal, which again shows the great premium being put on starting pitching this offseason.
They get off of a ton of money in this deal and also acquire a pitcher with five years of control in Ryan Pepiot. The 26-year-old right-hander has made starts in each of the last two seasons for the Dodgers and has pitched to a 2.76 ERA across 78 1/3 innings pitched.
If Pepiot can put it all together over a full slate of starts, the Rays can really be the big winners of this trade. The Dodgers are just banking on the known upside of Glasnow when healthy, as a guy who can headline their rotation, where Pepiot is unproven.
The Rays are also acquiring 25-year-old outfielder Johnny Deluca in the deal, who just made his MLB debut with the Dodgers last season. Deluca played in 24 games and posted a solid .740 OPS in his first cup of coffee with Los Angeles.
Across 73 games spent between Double-A and Triple-A, Deluca hit .294/.390/.566, with 17 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 53 RBIs.
As a typical Rays trade goes, Tampa got younger and cheaper with this move, while the Dodgers continue to build out their star-studded cast. Next we await to see the details on Glasnow’s impending contract extension, as well as if they can land Yoshinobu Yamamoto to pair with him in free agency as well.