Just before the 2009 trade deadline the Toronto Blue Jays were looking to move the ace of their staff and former CY Young Award Winner, Roy Halladay. The big right hander from Canada was a 20-game winner and certain to make any good team an immediate World Series contender.
The Dodgers, who already featured a stacked offense led by Manny Ramirez, and a loaded farm system, were a front-runner to land Halladay and bolster their starting rotation.
The only problem was the Blue Jays were interested in a package of prospects, and headlining that package was a 21-year-old phenom named Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers informed the Blue Jays that Kershaw was untouchable, and Halladay was ultimately shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies.
I still recall many baseball minds arguing that the Dodgers should have traded away their young stud for an established ace. Kershaw had shown flashes of brilliance, but many fans and baseball writers echoed the same sentiments; that the team needed to have a “win now” attitude.
That season the Dodgers reached the National League Championship Series, but lost in five games to those same Phillies. No one can say whether or not the addition of Halladay would have propelled the Dodgers to the 2009 World Series, but one thing is for sure, had the trade materialized the franchise would spend the next seven years without its best pitcher since Sandy Koufax.
Lets fast forward to the trade deadline for 2016.
It’s clear the Dodgers now find themselves in a very similar situation. The Dodgers have a good team, and the addition of Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale (especially if you paired him with Kershaw), would make the team an immediate World Series contender.
Earlier this week, we asked on our followers on Twitter if the Dodgers should trade Urias, and the results were mixed. Many people argued, as they did back in 2009, for the proven ace.
So for our readers who said they would trade Urias, let me ask you this: In hindsight, would you have traded Kershaw for Halladay back in 2009?
The answer should be a resounding NO!
POLL: #Dodgers trade rumors, would you package Julio Urias in order to acquire Chris Sale? Tweet us your thoughts!
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 26, 2016
I know many people consider Kershaw the exception and not the rule. And it’s true that many highly sought after prospects either don’t pan out or suffer and early injury that impedes their progress. However, I believe Urias is also going to be the exception.
He has incredible stuff at just 19 years of age, and his ratio of 10.79 K/9 ratio is nothing to ignore. The way he bounced back after those two horrendous starts in Chicago and New York shows a lot about his maturity and character.
Lets also not forget Urias is a Mexican-born player who has generated a lot of positive buzz in and around Chavez Ravine. During his home starts the seats at Dodger Stadium are littered with fans wearing Culiacan baseball jerseys.
The idea of having a rotation led by Kershaw and Urias not just for this year, but for many future years, is far too important to the success of the franchise and not worth risking.
The current Dodger farm system is more stacked now than it was back in 2009, and we have a myriad of prospects that we can trade for Sale, Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer, or any other high level pitcher without dealing Urias.
It will be interesting to see what moves Andrew Friedman and the other members of the Dodger’s front office will make before the July 31 trade deadline. The addition of a top of the rotation starter will undoubtedly improve the team, and a big splash should be made.
I just hope that when it’s all said and done, and the trade dust settles, Julio Urias will still be donning Dodger Blue.
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