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Did the Dodgers’ offseason spending spree lead to giving the Cubs the early NL Rookie of the Year favorite for a bargain rate?

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Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers made several big moves this offseason to give them the stacked roster they have in 2024, that pursuit to improve the team for this season may have led to handing over a serious Rookie of the Year candidate for a bargain rate.

There is little doubt that the Dodgers were the biggest winners this past offseason. Not only did they hand out record contracts to Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but they also swung a trade for Rays starter Tyler Glasnow and signed one-time All-Star Teoscar Hernandez.

Those additions to a roster that won the NL West in 2023 are why they are favorites to win it all in 2024. However, there was one decision that they may regret for a very long time. In January, the organization made an under-the-radar swap of minor leaguers as they sent talented prospects Michael Busch and Yency Almonte to the Chicago Cubs for LowA ball prospects Jackson Ferris and Zyhir Hope.

  • Michael Busch stats (2024): 60 AB, .317 AVG, .400 OBP, .667 SLG, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 10 R

Entering the MLB games today, despite having very different expectations in 2024 the Cubs (11-7) and Dodgers (12-9) have similar records, and Busch is a massive reason why Chicago have gotten off to a good start this season.

Earlier this week the corner infield tied a team record when he homered in a fifth consecutive game. Half of the runs the team scored during that streak came from the 26 year old. Heading into their game on Friday against the Marlins he is fourth on the team in runs (10), and first in hits (19), homers (6) and RBIs (13). He is hitting .317 and has an OPS of 1.067 after 60 at-bats.

Related: Los Angeles Dodgers game today – Get watch times for LA’s next game

Dodgers gave up on the 2023 Triple-A Pacfic Coast League MVP after 72 big league at-bats?

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Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While Michael Busch’s numbers may be a surprise for some Los Angeles Dodgers fans after getting 72 unimpressive at-bats in the big leagues last season — he hit .167 — he was the fourth ranked prospect in the system in 2023 (via MLB.com) as he hit 27 homers, led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in slugging and OPS and earned MVP honors.

It’s surprising that the Dodgers would give up on such a talented player ready for the show so quickly, but it seems their wealth of riches led to handing him over to the Cubs for a bargain rate.

“Busch seemed to be an obvious trade candidate this winter as a 26-year-old prospect without a clear path to playing time in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers needed to clear a 40-man roster spot to make room for free agent outfielder Teoscar Hernández,” Fox Sports MLB reporter Rowan Kavner wrote on Thursday.

First base is his best spot and he is blocked by Freddie Freeman, Ohtani at DH, and Hernandez’s addition forced LA to move on from him much quicker than they should have. However, third base could have been an option. Their lapse in judgement is turning into a massive gain for the Cubs as he is an early favorite for NL Rookie of the Year in 2024.

Related: Chicago Cubs game today – Get watch times for the Cubs next game

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