The Dodgers traded second baseman Logan Forsythe, southpaw Devin Smeltzer, and outfielder Luke Raley to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for former All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier hours before the 2018 trade deadline.
When the Dodgers acquired Dozier, he was in the midst of a year-long slump which was uncharacteristic considering all of his past successes. In 2017, Dozier posted an .856 OPS. In 2018 prior to the Dodgers acquiring him: .712 OPS. After? .650 OPS. It was truly an awful deal. The Dodgers gave up some decent prospects for the hope that Dozier would come alive in August, September, and most importantly October for the Dodgers. This was not the case.
For reference, Brian Dozier has just a .665 OPS in 2019.
The Moving Parts
It also reflects poorly on the organization considering how the three players they sent to Minnesota for Dozier’s services are performing. So, let us take a look at the whereabouts of all three:
Forsythe no longer plays for the Twins’ organization, but is carving out an everyday role with the lowly Texas Rangers. Forsythe has actually been quite excellent with them, posting an .895 OPS across 39 games. He acts as a utility man for the Rangers and consistently bats near the top of their order, considering his .410 on-base percentage. He is doing for the Rangers what the Dodgers hoped he could do for them. It never happened.
A cancer survivor who possesses a unique story involving Chase Utley, Smeltzer has made his way to the big leagues in recent days.
Devin Smeltzer’s ML debut
6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 69 pitches
— The Blue Ravine (@TheBlueRavine) May 29, 2019
On Tuesday, Smeltzer made his debut for the Minnesota Twins after passing through AA and AAA in swift fashion. He tossed 6 shutout innings against the high-powered Milwaukee Brewers offense and struck out 7. That hurts. After Brian Dozier gave nothing of value to the Dodgers, Smeltzer already looks like a steal for the Twins considering the improvements he has made in their organization.
Left-handed first baseman and outfielder Luke Raley has been great this season in the Twins organization. He is currently holding an .878 OPS for their AAA affiliate. He has smacked 7 homers and driven in 21 runs in just 33 games for Rochester. One major issue that remains with Raley, however, is that he still strikes out way too much. In Raley’s 33 games, he has struck out a whopping 42 times. He is still a career .833 OPS guy across all levels of the minors, though, so a lot of potential remains.
It is safe to say this was a bad trade. Dozier posted 0.0 WAR for the Dodgers in his short time with the club. Devin Smeltzer posted 0.4 WAR in his big-league debut alone. Raley can, at worst, become a viable bench bat. Even Forsythe is getting it done for the Rangers. You cannot win them all, but this was surely a loss.