That doesn’t include Matt Chapman, as most Dodgers fans had hoped, but the organization and members of Group A completed an interesting four-player deal on Friday.
The deal sends Sheldon News and right-hand player Jos Farland to Los Angeles, while Adam Colark and defender Cody Thomas head to Oakland.
Los Angeles has also sent right-handed player Dylan Floro, who has appeared in 104 matches for the Dodgers over the past three seasons, to the Miami Marlins instead of archer Alex Vicia and right-handers Kyle Hurt of the Minor League.
The Dodgers get: INF Sheldon News, RHP Gus Varland
Get a: LHP Adam Colark, from Cody Thomas
The Dodgers get: LHB Alex Physia, RHB Kyle Heart
Marlins gets: RHB Dylan Floro
News, 26, was selected for a second round by the Nationals in 2016 after a strong college career in Oklahoma. It was one of the key pieces in the deal that sent Sean Dolittle and Ryan Madson to Washington in 2017. Since then, Neuse has continued to develop in The Minors, including a 27-person season with Triple-A Vegas in a friendly Pacific Coast League match In 2019.
According to MLB Pipeline, Neuse was the No.5 overall prospect in Organization A, and his ability to board is a big reason for this. Farland was the 28th possibility in A.
Because Chapman was on third base, Neuse didn’t have many opportunities to make an impact at the senior league level. He made his major league debut in 2019, clocking 0.250 with seven RBIs in the 56 at-Bat. He didn’t get any time to play last season, as he spent his time on the alternate training site for A. Neuse still has two years of choice left.
Neuse’s addition does not lock the door in the event of a reunion with Justin Turner or the pursuit of another right paddle. Neuse gives the Dodgers a piece of much-needed depth in position and a player who is able to fill multiple places well, including second base and left field. Zach McKinstry and Chris Taylor are expected to fill the role of the departed Enrique Hernandez as the escort. Neuse gives them another option.
In the seemingly unlikely situation where the Dodgers aren’t adding another third base man to the list, Los Angeles will give the bulk of playing time to Edwin Rios, with the News serving as a right-handed platoon option in the position. However, the club will likely not finish adding this outside the season.
Farland, 24, is 2-2 with 1.54 eras and 77 strikes in 18 minor league matches. The Dodgers give another piece of depth in the palace.
Vesia, 24, appeared in five matches for Miami in 2020, allowing for nine runs in 4 1/3 runs while Hurt, 22, was Marlins’ pick in the fifth round at the 2020 MLB Draft outside of USC.
Trading Kolarek and Thomas wasn’t an easy decision for the Dodgers, but it does represent what the organization thinks about Neuse. Colark, 32, went 3-0 with 0.95 ERs in 20 games for Los Angeles last season. He went 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA in his Dodgers career. Kolarek was particularly excellent against left-handed hitters, having brought them to an all-time average of 0.077 last season. He will always be remembered for his post-season duels against superstar Juan Soto. Neuse will replace Kolarek in the 40-player roster.
With no Kollark on the list, the Dodgers will be counting on Victor Gonzales, Scott Alexander, and Jarrett Cliffinger to be the best left-handers this season.