December 3, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Dodgers trade Adam Kolarek to the Athetics for two prospects

With Justin Turner unsigned and third base still a question, the Dodgers acquired another third baseman Friday, sending left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek and outfielder Cody Thomas to the Oakland Athletics for third baseman Sheldon Neuse and right-handed pitcher Gus Varland.

The Dodgers, however, don’t view Neuse as Turner’s replacement. They’re still in play for Turner. Neuse is instead seen as a depth piece, a right-handed bat they could use after also losing Kiké Hernández this offseason.

Neuse, 26, made his major league debut in 2019 and didn’t appear in a game for the Athletics in 2020. He has 61 plate appearances and 25 games on his major league résumé.

The cancellation of the minor league baseball season in 2020 meant Neuse didn’t play in any games last season. He spent the entire season at the Athletics’ alternate training site in San Jose. He was last seen raking in the hitter-friendly triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2019. He batted .317 with 27 home runs and a .939 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 126 games.

The Dodgers acquired Oakland Athletics third baseman Sheldon Neuse in Friday’s trade.

(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

This isn’t the first time Neuse has been traded. The Washington Nationals drafted Neuse in the second round in 2016 and traded him, Blake Treinen, and Jesús Luzardo to the Athletics for relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson the next summer.

Neuse was on the Athletics’ 40-man roster, so the Dodgers’ 40-man roster will remain full. The club would need to make another move to create a spot for Turner.

Neuse will replace Kolarek on the 40-man roster. The left-hander moves to Oakland after spending a season and a half with Los Angeles. The Dodgers acquired Kolarek from the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline in 2019. The 32-year-old allowed five runs (three earned) in 46 regular season relief appearances for the Dodgers. He gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings across seven playoff games.

Thomas, 26, played with Neuse at Oklahoma in 2014 and 2016. He had a torrid spring training for the Dodgers last year and spent the season at the team’s alternate training site. Thomas, who also played quarterback at Oklahoma, batted .236 with 23 home runs and a .751 OPS in 130 games for double-A Tulsa in 2019.

The 24-year-old Varland hasn’t reached the majors yet. The right-hander posted a 2.73 ERA in 26 1/3 innings over five games (four starts) in 2019 at Class-A Stockton before undergoing Tommy John surgery. According to reports, Varland returned to pitch eight innings in an instructional league in the fall and had his fastball touch 95 mph.