Luis Rengifo

Luis Rengifo


Luis Rengifo

With the MLB trade deadline coming up and trade proposals growing crazier by the day, the Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Rengifo is one of the more popular middle infielders on the market. If the Angels trade him, they need only look across town to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a potential match.

It would be painful for the Angels to accept. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since the 2009 ALCS and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014. If the Angels trade Rengifo, as Jay Sheehy of Last Word on Sports wrote on July 3, it would “signal the beginning of a much-needed rebuild.”

“As an organization, the Angels have been below average for nearly a decade,” Sheehy continued. “Plus, the farm system is the worst in baseball. Yet, it can be tough to tell your fans that you need to start over, especially when you have Mike Trout on your team (or at least your injured list).”

It’s bleak and trading a star player to a local rival only rubs salt in the wound. But it may be necessary to endure some pain now for maybe a brighter future.

The good news for the Angels is that Rengifo will fetch a healthy return — from the Dodgers or anyone willing to deal. He’s hitting .315 in 69 games this year with a .358 OBP and 22 stolen bases. He also has one more year of team control, meaning his career year won’t set off an immediate offseason bidding war.

Luis Rengifo Trade Proposals for the Dodgers

Rengifo won’t come cheap, but the Dodgers have the organizational depth to make the move. Sheehy floated one proposal that should give fans an idea of what it would take to land Rengifo:

Dodgers Get: 2B/3B Luis Rengifo
Angels Get: C Diego Cartaya (LAD No. 7 prospect), RHP Payton Martin (LAD No. 9), OF Eduardo Quintero (LAD No. 19)

That’s three top-20 prospects from the Dodgers’ system, though none of them ranks in the top 100 overall. Cartaya is the most MLB-ready prospect of the bunch, currently playing in AAA with an MLB ETA of 2025, per The Dodgers, however, already have Will Smith locked up through 2033, making Cartaya ideal trade bait.

Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller floated another idea in his “8 Outrageous Trades to Shake Up the 2024 MLB Trade Deadline” article, published June 30:

Dodgers Get: LHP Tyler Anderson, IF Luis Rengifo
Angels Get: OF Josue De Paula (LAD No. 2 prospect), RHP Nick Frasso (LAD No. 9 prospect), LHP Ronan Kopp (LAD No. 15 prospect)

De Paula is one of two top-100 prospects in the Dodgers’ system (63), but is still a couple years away from his MLB debut. Frasso is the best starting pitching prospect the Dodgers have and is already in AAA. Kopp is in AA and ranked a little lower, but still an intriguing prospect as a lefty starter with a plus slider.

Why the Dodgers Might Trade for Luis Rengifo

As Jon Becker of FanGraphs wrote in a story published July 5, the Dodgers have stayed quiet the last two trade deadlines. This year, as a clear World Series contender with even clearer holes, it “might be the time to swing big.”

“As good as the Dodgers are, they’re very top heavy on both offense and defense,” Becker wrote. Gavin Lux and Walker Buehler haven’t bounced back from injury as expected, Max Muncy’s oblique injury has forced him to the 60-day IL, and the bullpen depth has been tested by inefficient starting pitching and injuries to Ryan Brasier and Brusdar Graterol.”

That point on Lux is a big one. At 26 years old, Lux isn’t far removed from being one of the hottest young players in baseball. But after missing all of last season with an injury, he has come back to hit .214 with an OPS+ of 60. His career OPS+ of 87 is still well below average, and even if the Dodgers still think he can become the player they hoped, it won’t happen in 2024.

Sheehy notes the Dodgers’ best internal option is Trey Sweeney, but he’s “hardly setting Triple-A on fire with his bat.”

That would leave someone from the outside, like Rengifo, as the Dodgers’ best option.

The Dodgers’ lineup will naturally deepen when Mookie Betts returns from injury, and with Miguel Rojas swinging a hot bat, second base may be where he’s best suited. That would take some urgency away from the Dodgers needing to make a big move.

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