Dodgers can thank Kenta Maeda for Joey Gallo trade

The biggest move that the Los Angeles Dodgers made during the 2022 trade deadline was adding struggling power-hitting outfielder Joey Gallo. With the Dodgers having two struggling left-handed hitters of their own, this trade may not have made sense for most fans.

This is a flier for the Dodgers, though. Gallo provides another left-handed bat that could heat up and become a valuable middle-of-the-order presence while also playing very good defense. LA has to be banking on the fact that one of Gallo, Cody Bellinger or Max Muncy can turn it around and be that power bat that the team needs.

The flier is even better considering the Dodgers didn’t give up much in return. Going to the New York Yankees is pitching prospect Clayton Beeter. Despite being ranked in the Dodgers’ top 30, Beeter was very expendable for the team. He has struggled in the minors thus far and only has two pitches, which limits him to only being a reliever at the big-league level.

Beeter was also an extra pick for the Dodgers in 2020 that essentially wasn’t part of their core selections. Los Angeles selected him with a competitive balance B selection, which they acquired by trading a former right-handed starter.

The Dodgers trading Kenta Maeda looks even better after the Joey Gallo trade

Kenta Maeda had a very good 2020 season for the Minnesota Twins, we’ll give him that. He posted a career-best 2.70 ERA in his first season in Minnesota, but only made 11 starts because of the shortened season.

Maeda then returned to earth the following year with a 4.66 ERA in 21 starts and has yet to pitch for the Twins in 2022. With how much pitching depth is currently in Los Angeles, Maeda is not someone who the Dodgers have necessarily missed.

In return for Maeda, the Dodgers have received a key staple of the bullpen the last three seasons in Brusdar Graterol, who is still only 23 years old. Three seasons later, Gallo is essentially the other player LA has gotten in return, and his impact ele the rest of the way in 2022 could be huge.

If Gallo doesn’t work out then it will be fine for the Boys in Blue; they aren’t going to miss Beeter. However, if he can find his Texas Rangers form, beard and all, this is going to look like another genius move by Andrew Friedman.

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