It’s been one week since the July 31th trading deadline and the resulting carnage of the Dodgers’ dwindling farm system is becoming more evident by the day. Despite losing major ground in the race for the NL West and wild card since the break, GM Ned Colletti pulled the trigger on a series of transactions that led to the departure of three talented youngsters. Gone were Blake DeWitt (24), James McDonald (25), and Andrew Lambo (21). In return, the Dodgers acquired a 34 years old 5th starter headed for free agency (Ted Lilly), 30 years old light-hitting 2nd baseman (Ryan Theriot), and a 37 year old 7th inning reliever (Octavio Dotel) whose services were “needed” because of the abysmal performance of another old-man reliever acquired last year at exorbitant cost (George Sherrill). The disappointment over Ned failing to gain a clue after the donation of future superstar catcher Carlos Santana to Cleveland is only exceeded by the fact that Colletti still defends that trade this day (which netted third basemen Casey Blake), and the latest moves by Trader Ned serve as a sad indicator of the modus operandi for the sportswriter-turned general manager (giving away superior young talent for marginal short-term fixes).
Upon their arrivals to their new clubs, the departing youngsters put on a show for their new fans. DeWitt posted a 3-4 debut with the Cubbies and smacked a home run with four RBIs in his fourth game. Not be outdone, James McDonald debuted for the Pirates and delivered the best performance of his young career by obliterating LA’s divisional rival Colorado during six shutout innings, punctuated by eight strikeouts and a mere five baserunners allowed.
In essence, the Dodgers gave up cheap, young players with considerable talent for older, more expensive, and less productive ones. Consider the 2010 seasons of fellow second basemen DeWitt and Theriot.
DeWitt: .275 BA, .354 OBP, .384 SLG, 2 SB, salary – 400k
Theriot: .284 BA, .321 OBP, .328 SLG, 16 SB, salary – 2.6 million
Why make this swap? Enter Ned Colletti.
“We wanted more speed.”
Ok, then. I guess all other considerations went out the window.
Well, how about the acquisition of the elderly Dotel and the relinquishing of two talented players with a plausible 8-10 years of future major league production?
“Those are the guys they wanted.”
Sheesh, good thing they didn’t ask for Clayton Kershaw or Andre Ethier?
Colletti’s pattern of giving teams pretty much whatever they ask for in return for marginal players is downright frightening for the future prospects of the organization (and I don’t mean the players). Coupled with tight-assed owner Frank McCourt’s frugal ways, the outlook is bleak for the Blue Crew.