Dodgers Named Potential Fit for 2-Time All-Star Closer

Dave Roberts David Bednar

Getty Bleacher Report's Zachary D. Rymer named Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers a potential fit for Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar.

Through about the first week of the MLB season, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Evan Phillips leads the league with 3 saves. But Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the Dodgers adding another closer to their roster this season.

Rymer named the Dodgers a potential fit for Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar.

“As a trade chip, Bednar isn’t a hard sell. The last three seasons have seen him pitch to a 2.25 ERA with strikeout rates in the 94th, 94th and 85th percentiles,” Rymer wrote. “Add in that he’s under club control for this season and the next two, and he’s a mighty valuable chip for Pittsburgh to cash in if opportunity knocks.”

Bednar was not available for the Pirates on opening day because of a lat injury. However, he still appeared in two of the team’s opening series contests against the Miami Marlins.

In those two games, Bednar allowed 1 run on a solo homer and struck out 2 while facing 7 batters.

Over the past two seasons, though, Bednar has allowed just 0.5 home runs and 2.8 walks per nine innings pitched. Meanwhile, he’s struck out 149 while posting a 2.27 ERA and 1.109 WHIP in 119 innings.

Bednar was an All-Star for the Pirates in 2022 and 2023.

How David Bednar Could Fit With the Dodgers

Phillips has performed well in the team’s closer role. He has allowed just 1 hit with zero walks while striking out 5 in 3.2 innings to begin this season.

Last year, Phillips converted 24 of 27 save opportunities. He also had a 2-4 record with a 2.05 ERA.

Still, Bednar’s heat would be a significant addition to the Dodgers bullpen. He has averaged at least 96.6 mph on his four-seam fastball each of the past three seasons. Bednar also routinely hits 100 on the radar gun.

With Bednar, the Dodgers would have a pair of flamethrowers they could use in the ninth inning. Phillips averaged 96.5 mph on his four-seam fastball last season.

Will the Pirates Be Willing to Depart With Their Hometown Closer?

If Bednar hits the trade market, the Dodgers could very well be interested. The big question, though, is whether or not the Pirates closer will be available.

The Pirates have started the 2024 season a perfect 5-0. It’s the team’s first 5-0 start since 1983.

Obviously, that’s a small sample. But if the Pirates are competing for a playoff spot, which is easier to do nowadays with more wild card spots, it’s highly unlikely the team will deal Bednar.

Pittsburgh began the 2023 campaign 20-8 but finished 10 games below .500 last season. So, the Pirates will probably have to play well through May to convince a lot of pundits that they are a contender.

However, with Bednar under team control for two more seasons, any kind of improvement for the Pirates could be a deterrent to potentially trading the closer.

If the Pirates prove by July that they will be ready to contend in 2025 and 2026, then the organization is likely going to want to have their All-Star closer.

Bednar being from Pittsburgh is another factor. He grew up in Mars, PA which is a half hour drive north of PNC Park.

The Pirates have traded away local products previously (most notably, second baseman Neil Walker). But to do that again with Bednar still under team control through 2026 and not lose significant fan support, the Pirates will likely have to be definitively out of the race.

Even then, it might take a plethora of quality prospects to pry Bednar away from Pittsburgh.

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