After a hectic trade deadline (which basically means everyone refreshing Twitter until 1:15 or so then taking a nap), the Dodgers managed to trade for two pitchers yesterday, one starter and one reliever. Midmorning, the Dodgers traded with the Oakland Athletics for starting pitcher Rich Hill in a package that included outfielder Josh Reddick. Then it was right before the deadline that the Dodgers traded for Jesse Chavez, a reliever out of Toronto.
Needless to say, this is how fans felt at 1:01 PM PST:
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) August 1, 2016
In ten years, 36 year-old Rich Hill has played for the Orioles, Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Yankees, and Nationals, which is quite a resume. Hill hasn’t had a lot of success after leaving the Cubs, as he mostly just went up and down from the minor leagues to the majors. But, as the A’s seem to do (find talent at a cheap price), they signed Hill for a one-year contract and Hill has massively over performed. This season Hill has a 2.25 ERA, a 9-3 record, and a 1.09 WHIP, which are all career high’s for him. Based on these numbers alone, Dodgers fans should jump for joy because there’s a healthy pitcher on the roster that can pitch well!
But there is a caveat to Hill currently. He hasn’t pitched since July 17th due to lingering blister issues, which can definitely affect how a pitcher throws a ball. Thankfully, Hill is expected to be activated this week and should continue his renaissance type of year. We won’t know for sure what Hill will be like (post DL stint), but assuming nothing drastic happens, he will be a great add for a team that is in a pennant race. Keep in mind Hill can walk away in free agency after this season.
The Dodgers didn’t sell the farm for him, which they would have had to do if they were to get Chris Archer or Chris Sale. Hill should be slotted as the #2 or #3 pitcher come playoff time (assuming Kershaw comes back) and is definitely an upgrade over Brett Anderson, who was the #3 starter for the Dodgers last year in October. Anderson gave up 6 earned runs in 3 innings in Game 3 of the NLDS last year, and if Hill can avoid a disaster like that (and everything proven so far says that he will), his trade is a win in my book. Whether you like this trade or not, I hope you can agree that the Dodgers proved that they can get better without mortgaging their future away.
Closer to the 1 pm deadline, the Dodgers traded with the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Jesse Chavez, and sent away Mike Bolsinger. This trade was more of a head scratcher, because Chavez wasn’t a popular name during trade talks like Hill was, and frankly, is more of an unknown name just in general.
Chavez is 32 years old and is from Victorville, making him a hometown kind of guy. Chavez debuted in the MLB in 2008 for the Pirates, and has played for the Braves, Royals, Blue Jays, A’s, before going back to the Blue Jays in a trade last offseason. Chavez battled for a starting role to begin this season with the Blue Jays but lost to Aaron Sanchez, so he was sent to the bullpen. This season, Chavez has a 4.57 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP coming out of the pen. Even though Chavez doesn’t have impressive numbers, Chavez is still a major league arm that brings depth to the Dodger bullpen, which is never bad to have.
And just to reiterate, the Dodgers gave up Mike Bolsinger, who has not established himself anywhere close to Major League ready this season. Bolsinger had a whopping 6.83 ERA with the Dodgers through six starts this season. Too add, Bolsinger never got past the fifth inning in any of his starts. Right now Bolsinger is in Triple-A and will likely stay in the minors with Toronto. When you give up a struggling minor league pitcher for a major league pitcher that has potential to provide innings for your team, that is another win.