Today the Dodgers traded away lefty specialist Adam Kolarek and Outfielder Cody Thomas to the Oakland A’s in exchange for prospects Sheldon Neuse, and Gus Varland. Both of them were in the top 30 prospects for the A’s.
Adam Kolarek was pretty good in his time here with the Dodgers. Mostly as a lefty specialist but he got the job done. Cody Thomas has light-tower power but just couldn’t find a spot on the Major League roster. Maybe with this trade, he could find himself as a DH or platoon/ Bench option for the A’s. Best of luck to these 2 gentlemen.
Sheldon Neuse is a 26-year-old infielder, 2nd and 3rd baseman. In his 4 seasons in the minors, he’s hit .294 while slugging .458. In his last year playing Triple-A in 2019, he hit .317 and slugged .550. There’s clearly something there offensively that the Dodgers could work with and build upon. He has played mostly 3rd base but with Matt Chapman there he has moved to 2nd base where he’s still getting familiar. According to Jorge Castillo, the Dodgers see Neuse as a right-handed bat off the bench, with nothing but lefties minus Chris Taylor this makes sense. Neuse can hit, let’s hope he can continue that with the Dodgers.
Gus Varland is a 24-year-old starting pitcher who in his short 64 career minor league innings has posted an Era of 1.54. Last we saw of him was in High-A with Stockton, and he had an Era of 2.39 in 26 innings of work. He’s a Fastball, Slider, and changeup pitcher. He’s a strike-thrower who sits about 92-93 MPH but can crank it up to 96 in spurts. He gets swings and misses with his slider, and uses his change-up as well as his slider to get ground ball outs. He’s seen as a back-end starter but more likely as a reliever which makes sense since he could crank that Fastball to 96 while using his slider to get outs. He could be a good reliever as well with those pitches and his control. He has struggled against lefties but scouts think he’ll get better there as long as he can develop his change-up better.
Interesting move for the Dodgers, wonder what else they have up their sleeve.
ICYMI: The Dodgers are expected to attend Chaz Roe’s bullpen session for teams. You can read about that here