The Pirates have traded left-handed reliever Tony Watson to the Dodgers, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Ken Rosenthal of FOX reported. The Dodgers are sending infield prospect Oneil Cruz and right-handed pitching prospect Angel German to Pittsburgh in return.
Watson, a 2014 All-Star who has pitched in at least 70 games for each of the past three seasons, has regressed a bit this year, posting a 3.66 ERA and 1.52 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 14 walks in 46.2 innings. While he’s been very effective against lefties in past seasons, left-handed hitters have a .308 average and .711 OPS against him this season. The 32-year-old lefty has a strong track record, though, having posted a 2.68 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in seven big-league seasons, all of which have been with Pittsburgh.
Watson should provide a boost to an already-strong Dodgers bullpen that possesses an NL-best 2.83 ERA, even if he’s not as highly regarded as some of the other lefties—Zach Britton, Brad Hand, and Justin Wilson, to name a few—who have been connected to Los Angeles this deadline season.
Watson, who is making $5.6 million this year, is a free agent at the end of the season.
Cruz, an 18-year-old shortstop/third baseman who measures in at 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds, was rated as the Dodgers’ No. 21 prospect by MLB Pipeline. In 375 plate appearances with Class A Great Lakes, he was hitting .240/.293/.342 with eight homers. German, 21, had a 1.91 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP, 37 strikeouts, and 14 walks in 21 relief appearances (33 innings) at Great Lakes.