Stand-Pat Dodgers Did the Right Thing

With close races throughout the majors and that second wild card team in each league, MLB general managers had a trading frenzy leading up to today’s non-waiver trade deadline, with as many big names changing teams as I’ve seen in years, and a second group of serviceable, second and third tier players also being dealt. I’m very glad, however, that the Dodgers did not get swept up and did nothing stupid like trading any, and certainly not all, of the best triumvirate of budding stars they have had since the Garvey-Russell-Cey-Lopes era. Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias are all still Dodgers’ property, and David Price and Jon Lester have new homes, so the threat of a liquidation appears to be over.

As the smoke clears, the big losers in my mind are the Rays. After endless months of

rumors, they appeared to make a terrible trade for Price, receiving only underachieving starter Drew Smyly from the Tigers, plus light-hitting middle infielder Nick Franklin and 18-year-old, far-off shortstop prospect Willy Adames from Seattle in a three-team deal. Had the Rays received Smyly and Austin Jackson, who went from Detroit to Seattle in the deal, if would have been ok, but what they did receive seems far under value for Price, who the media has built up
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in recent months to be the second coming of Cy Young.

The deal seems to solidify Dave Dombrowski’s position as maybe baseball’s top GM, now having acquired by trade in just three years the likes of Price, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, and Jose Iglesias, while signing quality and productive free agents such as Victor Martinez, Joe Nathan, and Torii Hunter. While Oakland helped themselves considerably the past month or so, first trading for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammels, and now acquiring Jon Lester, the Tigers have now improved to the point of

perhaps being as solid a team as Oakland. Their question mark is now, though, do they have enough left in the outfield, especially with their center field options seeming to center on returning the 39-year-old Hunter to center to replace Jackson.

Even the most ardent fan will need a scorecard to recognize the Red Sox, who in the past 24 hours have now dealt away Lester, Johnny Gomes, Steven Drew, John Lackey, and Andrew Miller. The Lackey trade appears to be one that really will be beneficial to both clubs. St. Louis sent Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston for Lackey, who is not just a solid starter
but an experienced big game pitcher who has starred in two postseasons, 2002 with the Angels, and last year in Boston. Lackey figures to be the number two guy behind Adam Wainwright in the Cards rotation, while Boston has a new, young (10 years younger than Lackey) lefty starter in Kelley, and a solid heart-of-the lineup run producer in Craig, to go along with Yoenis Cespedes who they acquired in the Lester deal.

The Dodgers are still more than likely to make a deal, but for a second-level pitcher who can clear waivers and who is just as likely to be a reliever as a starter, and in exchange for second-level prospects, not for a star of the farm system.

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