Detroit Tigers Tarik Skubal Trade Partner: The Los Angeles Dodgers
Do the Dodgers need Tarik Skubal? No, not really. They have a top-five pitching staff this year, even with Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney and Dustin May injured. But then they didn’t really need Mookie Betts when they acquired him, and they didn’t really need Max Scherzer and Trea Turner last year. They are a good team, and they like to get better whenever possible. Tarik Skubal would make them better, and so would Michael Fulmer.
The Dodgers lost Daniel Hudson for the year, so Fulmer would help pad out their bullpen a bit. Meanwhile, in Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch the Tigers get a pair of gifted hitters with limitation-driven defensive versatility. Vargas is 22 and a career .311 hitter over 386 minor-league games, and he’s done that while maintaining a strikeout rate of 15% and a walk rate of 10%. As a hitter he’s reminiscent of the good version of Jeimer Candelario, working the gaps and probably topping out around 20 home runs per season. He is primarily a third baseman, but he’s also seen time at first base, second base, and left field.
Michael Busch is a little reminiscent of current Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy. He has more raw power than Vargas, but he figures to hit for a lower average while maintaining high walk and strikeout rates. He’s a bit stretched defensively at second base, but can also play first base and an outfield corner. Gavin Stone was L.A.’s 5th-round pick in 2020, and he has taken off in the Dodgers’ player development machine, looking like a potential mid-rotation starter. Nick Robertson is a tall reliever with a big fastball and two secondary offerings that show promise.