Trade Deadline Passes… Quietly?

It’s somewhat amazing to me to think that in the last 24 hours the Dodgers have made two trades – and three in the last week – and the prevailing reaction among fans as the deadline passes is “…that’s it?” That says more about the new reality we find ourselves living in with a post-McCourt glow than anything, I think.

There’s no Chase Headley, or Justin Morneau, or Josh Beckett, or Ryan Dempster – who’s going to Texas, of all places, and good luck with that, Ryan – and in fact, there’s no starting pitching coming at all. That’s tough to swallow, because it’s difficult to see this as a championship rotation right now, and in fact you now have to count on Stephen Fife contributing and Ted Lilly returning. On the offensive side, James Loney & Juan Rivera are still going to be your primary first basemen, which is hardly optimal.

That said… look at the entirety of the Dodger moves over the last week.

Incoming:
SS/3B Hanley Ramirez through 2014
RP Randy Choate, FA after 2012
OF Shane Victorino, FA after 2012
RP Brandon League, FA after 2012

Outgoing:
SP Nathan Eovaldi
RP Scott McGough
RP Josh Lindblom
RP Logan Bawcom
SP Ethan Martin
OF Leon Landry

At first glance, it’s scary – four veterans for six prospects. But it’s hard to say that the 2012 club isn’t a better team than it was last week, right? We loved the Ramirez deal at the time and he’s done nothing but make a great impression. Victorino is iffy, but a definite improvement over the awful left fielders we’d been seeing before. Choate fills a lefty bullpen need. League is… well, he’s not a downgrade, anyway, and it was that deal which facilitated the Victorino move.

Meanwhile, all six of the young players headed out have promise, but none are irreplaceable, and with the possible exception of Eovaldi, none are really “top ten” Dodger prospects. Zach Lee? Still here, as are Chris Reed and Allen Webster and Garrett Gould and Joc Pederson and so on. We can kill the Dodgers all we want for failing to get that starting pitcher that they claimed they so badly needed, but did anyone really want to give up Webster’s career for two months of almost-certain-to-regress Ryan Dempster? I sure didn’t. I don’t know yet what Texas gave up, but if it’s less than what the Dodgers were asked to, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not the deal the Dodgers would have had.

So while I see and understand disappointment here, because this isn’t a roster that’s suddenly a behemoth like we’d had in our wildest dreams, what I see is a team that’s improved for 2012, improved for the next two seasons thanks to Ramirez, and mostly having done so by dealing second-tier prospects from positions of depth.

I don’t know if that’s good enough to contend for a World Series title, though I feel a lot better about their chances of even making it to the playoffs than I did just a week ago. Sure, the Giants got Hunter Pence, but is anyone afraid of their lineup, especially with Tim Lincecum not nearly what he was? Arizona’s big deals were for Chris Johnson & Scott Podsednik, and even Johnson can’t face Aaron Harang every night.

I do know that there’s not a single prospect headed out that I’m going to lose any sleep over. Knowing what the prices were for the flawed players out there – honestly, was Dempster really the difference maker? Can you count on Matt Garza or Josh Johnson? – it’s hard for me to say that I’m not pleased that improvements were made while ground was stood. (In this case, anyway. Still can’t believe they were willing to send Gould for Carlos Lee before.)

Besides, it’s not necessarily over yet. Trades can be made in August, it’s just far more difficult because of the waiver process. So the team we see now still may not be the team we see going down the stretch. For today? I’m somewhat melancholy, but satisfied.

485 comments
Whocares
Whocares

You obsess over prospects way too much. Our system hasn't produced in a long time. Outside of the obvious Kemp, Kershaw, but even Ethier was a trade acquisition. Who gives a rats ass about iffy prospects--most of which will only become roster fillers--when we can upgrade right now. Plus I wouldn't be surprised to see Victorino resigned if he puts up decent numbers. I've been following this blog since the obsession over Andy LaRoche. When he flamed out I quit caring about MSTI's obsession over middling prospects. Get over it. Prospects come and go. Very few of them ever mean much. You build teams through trades and free agency while doing your best to groom one or two All-Star types every five years.

RizzoMB
RizzoMB

My concern is how many good prospects the Dodgers have in the system, because they sure traded alot.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

So, hearing Beckett left the game tonight with a bad back...were we really in the run to get him today?

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

It just dawned on me. The giants gave up their second top position prospect right? Was this guy offensively good?

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Do any of the current Dodgers actually like Uribe?  I feel like I don't seem them fraternizing much on TV.  And if they don't, I can't blame them.

Dang88
Dang88

I don't think I can go for another Fife tight rope act I wanna see what Ely can do has Coffey been moved to the 60 day dl?

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

So as I've said, Logan White didn't have a very good '08 draft, but I just noticed 3rd round pick Stephen Fife of the Red Sox, who is now living large in our rotation.  Moral of the story, if you can't draft em, trade for em.

Dang88
Dang88

Seems like on the phillies site the fans don't give a shit about pence leaving but wish victorino the best

Jayserv
Jayserv

Who gets moved off 25 man roster to make room for Victorino?  Uribe? Kennedy?

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

Well, here's the deal.  The Dodgers made 3 huge upgrades to the offense this month, with Hanley, Victorino, and this last one is important, Luis Cruz.  This is in addition to getting Kemp back, Ethier back, and MEllis back.  These are huge huge upgrades.

 

Now, on the pitching side, while we didn't get Dempster, we have Lilly coming back and Rubby may come back at some point, but probably most likely to bolster the pen.  So the pitching will get some help even with no deals.  There is still a good chance for an August waiver deal, though.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

RT @truebluela: Mattingly said Gordon could be out as much as another month, but the plan is for Gordon to play SS when he returns

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

RT @truebluela: Mattingly clarified from Monday: if Hanley Ramirez plays SS it will be only until Dee Gordon returns

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Frank J Lapidus apparently so. Maybe thats why they backed off. Went so far as to view medical records

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @EephusBlue We could have gotten Pence, but we would have had to send over more prospects, as we don't have a Schierholtz comp.  Well, water under the bridge now.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @Dang88 Victorino's tenure longer with more contributions to their 08/09 success.

BrocNessMonster
BrocNessMonster

@Jayserv Abreu I hope. Hasn't but on two months and can't field.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

Somebody will have a freak luggage accident, just watch

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @Frank J Lapidus 3B and 1B still gaping holes.  And while 2 gaping holes are better than 4/5 gaping holes, they're still gaping holes.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

I was a little worried that Dee was on the table

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @EephusBlue Whew. I literally broke out in tears when Mike said Beckett for Dee (and someone else). I really thought, okay, I guess that's really why they got Hanley. Dee's not in their plans.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

@EephusBlue We're not called the Dodgers for nothing!

BrocNessMonster
BrocNessMonster

@Frank J Lapidus @ThtsaPaddlin the new Periphery album is amazing. Oh... Nm.

Jayserv
Jayserv

They put Kennedy on the DL.  Guess he suddenly got sick!

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 As per Eephus the 3B hole is filled.... Hanley will play 3B when Dee is back... in the meantime you got Cruz whos holding it down well enough in my opinion.... 1B yeah GAPING offensive hole but defensively above average with Loney.... remember you probably want Loney picking those Hanley and Dee throws... plus Loney should feel better about things with no moves made to replace him.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @LA Woman  @EephusBlue i like Dee...i think he'll be great... lots of people didnt see Dee as ready to be a starter and remember he was rushed and has done decent...flashes of brilliance with of course errors and 0-fors as to be expected from the young SS. Still leads the NL in steals btw.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @LA Woman  @EephusBlue That's a bit of an overreaction on your part, I think.  I'm not ready to give up on Dee either, but I'm no longer convinced that he's the irreplaceable phenom that we treated him as prior to and during 2011.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @LA Woman haha TOTALLY what I thought. YOu could see the logic flow. Im glad I was wrong. Im not ready to give up on Dee yet

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @EephusBlue this is actually a key thing...Nate is one of the few Gnats who was hitting lately...3 for 5 last night..now he's gone.  He was 6 for 17 with 2 doubles and 3 bb's in the last 7 games.  

Jayserv
Jayserv

Change of scenery didn't do too well when he came here

Jayserv
Jayserv

Who in their right mind would do that?

BrocNessMonster
BrocNessMonster

@Jayserv @Cadtalfryn all of it. $8MM per year throught next year. Maybe more next if it was back loaded.

Jayserv
Jayserv

 @Cadtalfryn Don't care for that idea at all!  Is Uribe signed through next year? How much $ would the Dodgers have to eat to DFA him?

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @Gilbert_Venge If you're going to go ALL IN, go ALL IN.  No doubt this is a better team than it was a week ago, but is it good enough to win it all?  Dunno.  Would be a lot closer if the Adrian Gonzalez trade went through.  Or if Gordon plays like he did in his 2nd appearance last season.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @ThtsaPaddlin It is too much to ask for this trade deadline... they would have not much out there and if there were wouldnt come cheap by any means.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @Gilbert_Venge Fair enough.  Then SS and 1B are gaping offensive holes.  I know that Loney's defense is good.  But it's not too much to ask to have a shiny new 1B with offensive and defensive tools.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @Gilbert_Venge Unless Cruz starts slumping, I don't see how Donnie can take him out.  We are getting so much more production out of SS with Cruz.  How long has he been up, 3 weeks?  And already has a 0.7 fWAR.  Gordon still rocking the -1.2 WAR.

CptPineapple
CptPineapple

 @Gilbert_Venge Couldn't agree more. If we are going to have a hole in the lineup right now, I want it to be somebody young with upside. Dee has so much room to grow. I can deal with him struggling now, because he WILL improve, as opposed to Uribe, Rivera or Kennedy, who suck now and will suck more later. 

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @CptPineapple  Trust me when i say Dee's career with the Dodgers is going to be long. His ceiling is still really high and his in the Majors RIGHT NOW. Defensively hes gonna get softer hands to go along with his amazing range. Hes fast and you cant teach that. You can for sure teach him some hitting techniques. Dee will be fine just you wait.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @ThtsaPaddlin  @EephusBlue Maybe it's an over-reaction to you, but it's my emotions, Pad. I really love Dee and just don't want to give up on him yet.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @ThtsaPaddlin  I do still see him as a phenom whos been rushed and handed the starting shortstop job for the Los Angeles Dodgers too early. Since the start Donnie was saying we're gonna let him try to adjust and slow the game down... everyone knows he was quite ready...