Well…that was certainly…interesting. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, this trade deadline was neither here nor there really. There was one big trade, one big BAD trade if you were to ask me, and two other trades that are barely worth a mention.
But, they did still actually happen so it probably behooves me to at least mention them and leave them largely alone afterwards because the effects on the team will more than likely be negligible. In the aftermath of the Dodgers trade with the Oaklands Athletics, which saw them ship out Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas in return for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick, the team made a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Dodgers traded them Mike Bolsinger and got Jesse Chavez in return.
All together now,
— Trip Westmoreland (@Twest208) August 1, 2016
Then, right before the buzzer on the 1 PM PST deadline sounded, they Dodgers made another trade, this time with the Houston Astros. This time they gave up Cuban prospect Yordan Alvarez for reliever Josh Fields.
And once again,
— Trip Westmoreland (@Twest208) August 1, 2016
No Chris Sale, or Chris Archer, or any worthwhile reliever this year. Admittedly, Rich Hill and Josh Reddick are very solid players and they should without question help the Dodgers as they march towards the playoffs. But still, that seems like it was a lot to give up for two players on expiring contracts.
I’m Not Angry, I’m Disappointed
Fans really won’t know the true effect on this trade until at earliest, 2 or 3 seasons. By then, Montas should be established in the league and Holmes should have made his debut as well. It would be quite the shocker to see Rich Hill stick around La La Land for that long, but if the team can sort out what it wants to do with Yasiel Puig (thank goodness by the way that we had enough foresight not to trade him) then Reddick, being only 29, may be around for a while.
Hill and Reddick in the immediate future help the team exponentially more than any of the three pitchers that were given up, but a mantra of this front office has been making sure the team is just as much set up for the future as the present. This is where this trade begins to look a little sketchy. I must give this caveat though, if by the grace of the baseball gods Hill and Reddick are just the shots in the arm the team needs and propel us to the playoffs and perhaps, dare I say, a World Series appearance then all of what I am about to say is null and void.
But, if the two do not lead the team to postseason success and in few seasons, Holmes and Montas look every bit as good as advertised, then this trade has the potential to be disastrous. Hill and Reddick are both good players, and in Hill’s case, looking at this season at least, a truly top tier talent. But, they both play positions where the Dodgers have an abudnace of (yes, oft-injured) players. When fully healthy, the Dodgers rotation looks something like this: Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Bud Norris. Obviously, most of them are injury prone and may not even be coming back this season but the issue remains. We have a lot of freakin’ starting pitchers.
The same can be said for outfielders where the Dodgers have Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Howie Kendrick, Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson, Kike Hernandez and Alex Verdugo waiting in the wings as well. While it appears that the acquisition of Reddick pushes Puig out his starting spot, his long term prospects are in question with the young outfielders that the Dodgers already have.
So yes, both Hill and Reddick figure to help the team this season, both players have the distinct feeling of being rentals. Which, ya know, is odd. Because that’s not at all how this front office has operated up to this point but maybe the fans clamoring for postseason success forced their hand.
This move very clearly places the Dodgers in “win now” mode and that has both its pros and cons. It’s always fun seeing your team decide to really go for it, and had we gone out and gotten either Archer or Sale that would have been a more of an overt sign, this move still tells the rest of the league that our goal is in no uncertain terms a World Series berth at least. Being 2 games back of the San Francisco Giants makes this slightly curious but the way they have been playing as of late, it seems only a matter of time before the boys in blue catch up.
However, playing devil’s advocate, is this really the team that you want going all out for it? Is this really the team that we think can bring home the championship for the first time since ’88? I know every fan wants to believe that and will gladly look at things through a glass is half full lens, but if we’re honest, is this the right year to go for it all? I don’t know. I really don’t. The irrational fan in me wants to say, hell yes! No doubt, this is the year. No more wait till next year, this is the year that we are going to get it done. But, I don’t know how much water that argument could hold. Our best pitcher is hurt for who knows how long and we’ve really only had one consistent bat all season.
Not to say that it is beyond the pale to think that this team could do it. If Kershaw comes back healthy and plays like he did before the injury, if Hill’s blister isn’t an issue and he continues his play, and if the offense can keep this hot streak going, then yes. We could do it. This could be the year. But, those are a lot of “ifs” and a lot of unknown. I hope all of these things happen and the Dodgers do make it to the World Series and bring home some hardware, I just don’t know if the current roster has it in them.
That’s why this trade worries me so much and why at the end of the day I think it was probably a poor idea. If Kershaw wasn’t hurt and our offense had more than one or two studs, then yes, I believe a trade like this could put us over the top and this really truly could be our year. But, I just don’t know if that’s the case this season. The Dodgers saving grace is that there has been no one dominant team in baseball this season. Yes, the Chicago Cubs got off to an unfathomably hot start but they have definitely tapered off as of late. In the American League, the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers are the two top clubs and they without question got better at this deadline so in all honestly, they may be the teams to beat. That whole having home-field advantage in the World Series doesn’t hurt either (thanks Johnny Cueto).
So, at the end of the day, this trade worries me deeply and I really don’t know if this was the right time to make a move like this, or if we got the right players in return. Only time will tell, and all I can say is that I hope I’m wrong.
The Yasiel Puig Situation
As I was writing this, news came out that Yasiel Puig was told that he will either be traded or sent to the minors and this apparently sent the Cuban right fielder into a frenzy. Since the initial reports that he stormed out of the clubhouse came out, some have been retracted but no one really knows what is going on with the Wild Horse. Obviously, I’ve not tried to hide my love for Puig on any level but if these reports are true, that might change things. Probably not, but maybe. I’m sure next week we will have much more information and I will more completely be able to formulate my thoughts on the situation. However, until then, it’s still #VivaPuig.