Hot Stove season is officially upon us. And while it’s always fun to daydream about the big pieces your Dodgers could end up with, there should also be some hesitancy. Los Angeles fans know all too well that trading away talent can often result in long-term regret.
The Athletic recently released their rankings of the worst trades in franchise history for every MLB team. Dodgers fans can probably think back to 2-3 in recent memory that still keep them up at night thinking about what could have been. For that, you can reference the Mike Piazza debacle or the Casey Blake acquisition.
But it was not either of those moves that made the list for the Dodgers’ worst trade in franchise history. Instead, it was the infamous Pedro Martinez swap that sent the future Hall of Fame pitcher to the Montreal Expos in 1993.
The Dodgers shipped off the then 21-year-old setup man to Montreal in exchange for the speedy Delino DeShields. Los Angeles would keep DeShields around for 3 years in which he never was able to put up league-average numbers aside from the 114 stolen bases. DeShields later walked away in free agency while Martinez would go on to become one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.
So why would they make the move? Well, there really isn’t a great answer to that. DeShields had put up decent numbers in Montreal and managed to swipe 187 bases in 4 years. Dodgers GM Fred Claire wanted to add speed to the lineup and also fill a void left at second base after missing out on Jody Reed.
Meanwhile, Martinez had put up pretty good numbers in his first full season with the Dodgers. It’s tough to tell what you’re going to get long-term from a young pitcher, but his stuff would have had to raise concern even at the time of the trade. I guess we’ll never know what could have been.
All of that to say, be careful what you wish for on the trade market this year.