The rumors swirled and swirled and swirled, but when the dust settled the Dodgers of yesterday looked a whole lot like the Dodgers of today.
Sure, the team acquired outfielder Shane Victorino, but with all the hubbub surrounding Ryan Dempster, which had persisted for weeks, the 1 p.m. deadline almost seemed to signal a letdown for Colletti and Co.
Now that the dust has settled, however, there are a number of positives to glean from today’s happenings (or lack thereof).
For starters, the idea of preserving the farm system is a new one. While we’ve seen Colletti deal guys like James McDonald and Carlos Santana at the deadline for temporary rentals, 2012 was a different story.
While Dempster to the Dodgers was borderline assumed for weeks, reports surfaced throughout the week that Colletti and the Dodgers were unwilling to include one of their top two prospects: Zach Lee and Allen Webster. While many times statements like that are seen as nothing more than posturing, Dempster’s arrival in Texas seems to indicate Colletti wasn’t messing around.
Secondly, there’s Shane Victorino.
Let me preface what I’m about to say by acknowledging that I’m not the biggest Shane Victorino fan in the world. In fact, I can’t stand him and was hoping with all I had that the Dodgers wouldn’t trade for him. With that said, the more I think about the move, the more opening up to the idea.
For one, the Dodgers now have one of the best defensive outfields in baseball. Secondly, they’ve also got a true lead-off man until Dee Gordon returns that has legit speed.
While Victorino’s numbers are underwhelming this season (.261/.324/.401), since the return of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley his numbers have improved. Since July 14, Victorino is hitting .384 and has raised his slugging percentage by nearly 40 points.
So ultimately, it’s funny how expectations can shape our analysis of what has happened. With all of the expected moves rumored over the past few days, making just one move on deadline day (and one late the night before) can seem to be a letdown.
Had Dodgers fans had lower expectations for roster moves, however, I think the outcome would have been viewed more favorably. This organization is in the process of rebuilding their farm system and today was a big step in making that happened as they made a league-wide statement that the process of trading top prospects for rentals is all but over.
A slow day, yes. A disappointing one, though? I don’t think so.