As a baseball fan on the west coast, my trade deadline morning went something like this.
I woke up at 7:30, barely conscious. Thursdays right? I rolled over and looked at my phone and saw a notification from my Scorecenter app.
My exact reaction was “Woah. Wait, what!” That woke me up. I ran to my TV and turned on MLB Network. If it wasn’t for Chris Russo making “guest” appearances, my TV would have stayed on that channel until the 1 p.m. deadline. But that’s life I guess.
The whole time, I was waiting for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make their move. The Dodgers were a prime team for a big move at the deadline. Loads of money. Stud prospects. A GM that isn’t afraid to pull the trigger.
As the deadline approached, I started seeing tweets about the Dodgers being in on former Tampa Bay ace David Price. The thought of Price being the Dodgers third starter, following Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke nearly made me take up smoking.
The price would be high for the Ray’s lefty, who is still in his prime and has a full season left on his contract. But at this point, I didn’t care. They can have top outfield prospect Joc Pederson. They can have 18-year old phenom Julio Urias. Corey Seager– that would have been my dealbreaker. Juan Uribe is playing great baseball at third base, but the Dodgers haven’t had a truly great third baseman since Adrian Beltre. Seager’s brother, Kyle, is an all-star for the Seattle Mariners. Most pundits think Corey, who just turned 20, is going to be better than his brother. He is going to light up third base at Dodgers Stadium in the future.
When Price went to the Detroit Tigers, the Tigers gave up Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, and Willy Adames, an 18-year old shortstop with a ton of potential, but also a huge wild card. The Rays got Smyly and Adames, and they also got Nick Franklin from the Seattle Mariners as part of the three team trade. Franklin is a highly touted infielder who the Dodgers have been linked to in the past, but he has struggled in the majors. The Dodgers probably could have offered the Rays a better haul.
However, they didn’t. Ned Colletti said repeatedly that he didn’t want to blow up the farm for one player. He was listening to offers on those players, but is in no hurry to move any of them. I applaud this. In 2008, Colletti traded then-catching prospect Carlos Santana for Casey Blake. Could you imagine this lineup with Carlos Santana behind the plate or at first base? More importantly, could you imagine the references I could have made with Carlos Santana being Smooth. Or something about Into the Night. But I digress. If Colletti didn’t make that trade, we’re living in a different universe. The Nick Punto trade probably never happens. Hanley Ramirez might not be a Dodger. Avatar: The Last Airbender probably never gets made. Lots of things would be different right now.
However, it’s not like this is the darkest timeline. The Dodgers have arguably the most talented team in baseball. They have the best pitcher on the planet, the most electrifying position player in the game, and one of the fastest players in the league. They have three top prospects that can make an impact on the major league squad in the near future. They also have the best odds to represent the National League in the World Series this season, according to Bovada.
The Dodgers could have made some moves to fix some holes before the July 31st non-waiver deadline. They need back-end pitching help, because Josh Beckett is pitching hurt and Dan Haren is pitching… badly. Everyone in the bullpen not named Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell scares me. Especially Brian Wilson, but that’s for reasons far beyond pitching.
There is still a month for Colletti to make a move. The Dodgers can still make a move during the month of August, but players have to pass through waivers and it’s a bit more complicated. However, that’s how the Dodgers pulled off the Nick Punto trade with Boston, so there’s still a chance for a blockbuster trade. There’s a greater chance for small additions that will boost the squad and shore up any weaknesses headed into the postseason.
Currently, the Dodgers are 3.5 games up on the Giants and just swept the Giants and the Braves. With the Cubs in town next, the Dodgers have a decent chance for a nine game winning streak headed into the Freeway Series next week. Moves will still be made. However, the Dodgers didn’t panic and make a move for the sake of making a move. And I applaud that.
Well, the Dodgers did trade for Darwin Barney. But you get what I’m saying.
Also, Ned. If you’re reading this. The Oakland A’s just released former closer Jim Johnson. Please, no. Just don’t do it.