Dodgers Acquire Bullpen Help In Trade With Reds
The Dodgers are turning to a pair of familiar faces to fortify their injury-depleted bullpen. On Wednesday they acquired relievers Dylan Floro and Zach Neal from the Reds, both of whom played in the Dodgers organization within the past year.
The Dodgers also acquired international bonus space in the trade. In return the Reds received minor league righthanders James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala.
This is the second trade this year the Dodgers made with the Reds for a reliever, and the second time Neal has been involved. In April the Dodgers traded Neal and minor league first baseman Ibandel Isabel to the Reds in exchange for Ariel Hernandez.
James Marinan, RHP
The Dodgers drafted Marinan in the fourth round last year and paid him second-round money to keep him from a Miami commitment. He ranked as the Dodgers No. 24 prospect entering the season. Marinan is the classic projectable teen righthander at 6-foot-5 with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s but who has significant gains to make in his durability and control. Marinan’s fastball sits 90-93 mph with sink and touched 96 in high school, but his velocity drops off quickly. He is still trying to settle on a curveball or slider, and his changeup shows promise but is inconsistent. He also loses his direction to the plate in his delivery, stepping towards first base, which leads to bouts of wildness. Marinan has the physicality and raw stuff to dream on, but he has many years of strength gains and mechanical adjustments ahead to reach his potential as a three-pitch power starter. He will begin his Reds career with Rookie-level Billings.
Aneurys Zabala, RHP
Zabala is a flamethrower who can reach 101 mph but doesn't know where it is going. Originally signed by the Mariners and traded to the Dodgers with Drew Jackson for Chase De Jong last year, Zabala has averaged nearly six walks per nine innings in his career. His fastball sits in the upper 90s and tickles triple-digits, but keeping it in the strike zone has been a career-long challenge. He was 2-2, 4.86 with 25 walks and 30 strikeouts in 37 innings in a repeat season at low Class A Great Lakes this year. The Reds will take a flyer to see if they can sort Zabala out and get the most from his big right arm. He will begin his Reds career at low Class A Dayton.
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Dylan Floro, RHP
The Dodgers claimed Floro off waivers from the Cubs last August but immediately outrighted him to Triple-A and let him leave as a free agent after the season. Floro signed with the Reds, had a breakout campaign with a 2.72 ERA in 25 relief appearances, and is now a Dodger once again. Floro is best suited as a right-on-right matchup reliever. He’s limited righties to a .229/.281/.385 slash line this year compared to .339/.382/.508 slash line for lefties. Floro doesn’t miss many bats, but his sinker-slider combination keeps the ball on the ground. He is a welcome addition to a Dodgers bullpen currently without Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Tom Koehler due to injuries.
Zach Neal, RHP
Neal made 30 relief appearances for the A’s in 2016-17 and one appearance for the Dodgers this season, on April 3, before he was traded to the Reds. Now he’s back with the Dodgers after three months in the Reds system. Like Floro, Neal is a sinkerballer who keeps the ball on the ground, although his stuff isn’t quite as good. He relies heavily on his 90 mph sinker, but also has a mid-80s cutter. Neal provides extra depth for the Dodgers bullpen, with a chance to contribute as injuries hit. He will start at Triple-A Oklahoma City.