Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Trades (discussed in the LA Times)

As a longtime Dodger fan excited to see the team doing well this year, I was puzzled yet intrigued by the moves made this past weekend. To recap for non-MLB junkies:

Dodgers trade:
Paul LoDuca (starting catcher, leadership guy)
Guillermo Mota (setup man, stud young pitcher)
Juan Encarnacion (starting right fielder)

to Florida for:
Brad Penny (starting pitcher with postseason experience, 2-0 last World Series)
Hee Seop Choi (starting first baseman)
Billy Murphy (pitching prospect)

and then deal with Arizona, sending them Murphy, along with minor league prospects Reggie Abercrombie and Koyie Hill (AAA catcher, now starting for Arizona), for
Steve Finley (starting centerfielder)
Brent Mayne (platoon catcher)

also dealt to Boston and Atlanta:
Dave Roberts (displaced outfielder) for minor league outfielder Henri Stanley, a Clemson graduate who, in my younger days, I considered an old man because he was born in the 70's...James Bostic let me have it on that one.
Tom Martin (extra bullpen arm) for minor leaque pitcher Matt Merricks

so this extreme makeover has done this to the lineup:

Old New
C Paul LoDuca Dave Ross/Brent Mayne
1B Shawn Green Hee Seop Choi
2B Alex Cora Alex Cora
SS Cesar Izturis Cesar Izturis
3B Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre
LF Dave Roberts Milton Bradley
CF Milton Bradley Steve Finley
RF Juan Encarnacion Shawn Green

For a take from the Dodger's site, you might be interested in Sarah's words, as well as some of my own

The bench is largely the same, headlined by Grybowski, Werth, Hernandez and Ventura, while the bullpen is made over with Wilson Alvarez replacing Mota/Martin, moving from the rotation (where he was only intended to be a short-term stopgap). Dreifort and Duaner Sanchez now step into more important roles, setting up for the G-Man, and the rotation now looks to be Penny, Perez, Ishii, Weaver, Lima, which is more competitive for an October series.

The trades may help, and look as if they were made with the mindset that 'we're going to be in the playoffs, so let's win there,' which I applaud, although I am concerned about the 'messing with a good thing' syndrome. The outfield moves are worthwhile, as there wasn't going to be room for next year, with the emergence of Werth this past year, so I'm pleased to see that we'll be looking at Green/Bradley/Werth/Grybowski as a front four (expecting that Finley won't resign), with Encarnacion's 4+ million for next year coming off the books; I was hopeful when the Dodgers signed him in the offseason, but it didn't work out as expected, so thankfully there's no 5-7 year deal like those given by Kevin Malone. I do wish that we could have gotten the Johnson's, but that's not how it worked out, and the guys we got are guys I'm glad to have in LA. The new rotation will be better to equipped in a short series, and while Steve Finley provides a postseason-seasoned bat, I have another question concerning his impending free agency.

Will Finley qualify as a Type A Free Agent? If so, then the Arizona trade looks a bit better, with the chance that we'll get a first-rounder, as well as a supplemental pick (and if the picks are Arizona's, they'll be early, providing food for thought for the D-Backs; the plus is the full talent pool, but the additional bonus $ is the drawback).

For more info on Type A free agency, see a way-back article from ESPN and Moneyball, which first alerted me to this potentiality, as it related to Oakland's deal for Ray Durham, centerfielder by night, and the draft picks which followed. With Oakland at the time was Paul DePodesta, who I'd imagine was aware of just what he was getting with Finley...


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