The Los Angeles Dodgers trade deadline moves may in fact help them get into the post-season as a wildcard or possibly a division winner. But, I believe they lost more than they gained in parting with three power arms from their system.
By picking up Rich Hill and Josh Reddick along with a couple of other relief pitchers (Josh Fields and Jesse Chavez) the Dodgers slightly improved their now, but lost valuable pieces that could be used as trade bait this winter.
With Clayton Kershaw on the shelf for who knows how long, the Dodgers went for it on Monday. The problem is this team was not worthy of such an aggressive play. Their recent spate of solid performance, is far from a World Series contender. Their record and their proximity to the Giants in the standings is fools gold. The Dodgers were better equipped for a deep post-season run in 2013-2015. If these moves were made then, fine. Those teams were close. But this year they have way too many question marks and inconsistencies. The outfield is a convoluted mess. Puig has been jettisoned. Ethier is injured. Joc is thrilling but one-dimensional. AGone is aging, Utley is old and Grandal hits home runs, but can’t block a ball in the dirt with the winning run at third and two outs in a tie game in the 8th. This team has way too many holes to be mentioned in the same breath as the Cubs, Nats and even the Giants.
The Chicago Cubs are far and away the best team in the National League. They not only have the best line-up, but they made three trades in the last three weeks that solidified what was already a better than average bullpen. Chicago has Aroldis Chapman closing, they added lefty Mike Montgomery as a specialist southpaw along with Travis Wood. They already had Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon and now they add side-armer Joe Smith. The Cubs got much better.
Throw in the Washington Nationals adding Mark Melancon and you have two teams who I believe are better equipped to winning the pennant than the Dodgers. The Giants even improved themselves by adding left-handed specialist Will Smith and lefty starter Matt Moore.
The Dodgers were unwilling to trade their “best” prospects and for that I applaud them. But, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton were highly regarded power arms. The Dodgers traded them for a two-month rental of an aging outfielder and a left-handed pitcher, who is good, but hasn’t proven to be consistent over time and is currently on the disabled list with a recurring blister problem.
It’s obvious the Dodgers couldn’t get Chris Sale or Chris Archer without giving up Julio Urias or Jose De Leon. I am glad the Dodgers didn’t part with either of them. But, I would have preferred the Dodgers wait this out, hope Kershaw comes back and see if the last three weeks of pitching magic can continue without trading Holmes, Montas and Cotton.
I supported the notion that the accumulation of prospects would make it possible for a run at Jose Fernandez in the off-season. Including all three of these prospects for Fernandez and including De Leon might have gotten the Dodgers the big prize. Now, any dream scenario about getting Fernandez is gone without depleting the entire farm.
I don’t disagree with trying to improve this team right now. But, losing three power arms for a couple rentals on a team that is not of championship quality made no sense. Especially when accumulating assets and flipping them for Jose Fernandez this winter made more sense.
As always Bleeding Dodger Blue….