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Dodgers: Looking Back on the Trade for Russell Martin

The Dodgers shipped two prospects to the Toronto Blue Jays for an old catching friend.

With trade season upon us, I’ll be looking at some of the Dodgers more recent trades.

In January, the Dodgers traded shortstop prospect Ronny Brito and starting pitching prospect Andrew Sopko to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for former/current catcher Russell Martin.

The Trade

At the time the Dodgers acquired Russell Martin, Yasmani Grandal, the long-time Dodgers’ catcher, was reportedly on the verge of leaving Los Angeles. Russell Martin was traded to Los Angeles on January 11 and Yasmani Grandal signed with the Milwaukee Brewers three days later.

Russell Martin is still with the team in his second stint with the club and although he is currently struggling with the bat, Martin represents a very solid veteran presence in a relatively young Dodgers’ clubhouse.

Martin has just an 84 wRC+ this season across 42 games.

The Moving Parts

Ronny Brito

Initially an international free agent signed to a hefty signing bonus, Brito underwhelmed as a member of the Dodgers’ organization. Brito reached A-ball for the Dodgers, but is currently playing at High-A in the Blue Jays’ organization. In 18 games total this season, Brito has posted a .569 OPS and through 14 games at Low-A Vancouver, Brito posted a 60 wRC+. A lot more of the same for Brito — in short, he has not been much of a loss.

Andrew Sopko

Sopko, 24, is not a fan of the strikeout, but he can pitch. In 34 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays’ AA affiliate, he pitched to the tune of a 2.34 ERA and only held a 19.4 K%. After advancing to Triple-A Buffalo, Sopko has a 6.61 ERA and 7.57 FIP in 31 1/3 innings.

Overall

This trade has turned out to be a break-even. Martin is valuable in the way that he is providing a major league service. There is a very real chance that Brito and Sopko never see the majors. This trade filled a need.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

4 Comments

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  1. No loss but Martin is pretty bad these days. Will Smith on the other hand has been dynamic.

  2. I agree Richard. Another vote for Will Smith. While I appreciate the contributions of Martin, its frustrating that the Dodgers have a very week catching core. Let the kid play. With Barnes barely hitting 200, and Martin slumping offensively, we need help.

    And while I am grateful that the Dodgers split with the Rockies in Colorado, they have been having issues with leaving lots of runners on base and leaving lots of runners in scoring position. I am hoping that the Dodgers get back to playing solid baseball on both sides of the ball.. Hopefully the 3-4 road trip had more to do with fatigue.

    • I agree. The Dodgers should put Barnes on the Injury List, catchers always have some kind of injury and bring up Smith to familiarize him with the Pitching Staff. Barnes is a Black Hole in the Lineup not moving the runners and not getting on base to clear the 9th spot after him.
      Smith needs time to see if he can be a better offensive force than Barnes. Smith definitely has a better arm and from his brief stint is good behind the plate and frames well.
      This team needs Bullpen help though if they plan to get through the playoffs and win the WS. I think they should trade Lux and maybe Rios for Velasquez from the Pirates. They need help….

  3. Tmaxter, correct in that they need BP help. But to give up Lux or May for a bonified reliever still won’t get us a WS ring on his own, especially if the Dodgers fail to hit again with RISP and the rest of the pitching staff continues to generous with the long ball. Because nothing is guaranteed, I would hope they can find other guys to deal other than those 2 I mentioned.

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