As the Dodgers sputter along the duration of the 2010 season with merely a sliver of a chance to reach the postseason, the only thing fans can really look forward to is the off-season and what should be the removal of general manager Ned Colletti.
Sure, ownership deserves its share of the blame for the steady decline of what should have been a powerhouse of a franchise, but Colletti’s willingness to dump young and cheap talent for marginal veterans has sapped the organization’s reservoir of talent while failing to add premium players on the major league roster.
The final straw should be the 2010 trades of Scott Podsednik, Ryan Theriot, and Octavio Dotel. The transactions have been discussed and analyzed on the Lair previously, but tallying the number of young talents jettisoned by the team and producing on other rosters is downright depressing. The Dodgers don’t have one elite player in tow to account for the departures of players such as Edwin Jackson, Carlos Santana, and Joel Hanrahan.
Instead of learning from his mistakes, Colletti has further ravaged the farm in 2010. The most glaring transaction is the acquisition of 38 year old reliever Octavio Dotel. Acquiring elderly middle relievers is a specialty of the Dodgers’ GM. Trading away power-hitting 3B prospect Josh Bell for George Sherrill (who has bombed with LA) last year apparently hasn’t discouraged Ned for vastly overpaying for old middle relievers. In July, he pulled the trigger on a deal that sent 25 year old starting pitcher James McDonald and 21 year old outfielder Andrew Lambo for the Pirates reliever. Subsequently, McDonald has used his above-average fastball and very good curveball to post two dominant outings for Pittsburgh as a starter. Dotel has managed to post a 4.76 ERA in 5.2 innings with more walks than strikeouts. Congrats Ned. You gave up four or five years of performance from a potential number 3 or 4 starter for 5.2 innings of bad relief pitching.
Or how about the swap of 24 year old 2B Blake DeWitt for 30 2B Ryan Theriot? Here are their numbers post-trade.
DeWitt: 60 AB, 9 runs, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .300 BA, .364 OBP, .433 SLG, .797 OPS
Theriot: 67 AB, 11 runs, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .299 BA, .368 OBP, .328 SLG, .696 OPS
Congrats Ned. You gave up a superior 2B who was cheaper, younger and under club control for 3-4 years longer than his replacement.
In a recent GM poll, Ned Colletti was voted by his peers to be the most difficult to make a deal with. Considering the one-sided nature of most of his transactions, you might find this to be a bit of a surprise until you consider the possibility that even Ned was afraid of himself when it came to deal-making.