It’s that time of the year when we begin feeling frightened that Ned Colletti will make a disastrous trade. In the scheme of things, there has been some awful deals while others have turned out just fine. Trayvon Robinson for Stephen Fife and Tim Federowicz? Shocking at the time, but now it looks pretty darn good. Sure, there’s been plenty of bad moves made by Colletti, but bad ones are unavoidable. Not every deal is going to net the Dodgers a free All-Star. Not every trade is going to pan out. But if the Dodgers can perhaps dump an awful player in exchange for another slightly better one with the possibility of some sort of usable talent with little or no money spent, then I say why not?
When the Dodgers designated reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment last week, I was in shock. After two and a half
years of futility, the Dodgers finally cut the bewildered pitcher? It just didn’t make sense, even though his uselessness and seemingly waste of a spot in the bullpen continued to torment Dodger fans as he served up runs like hot cakes out of the pen. The Dodgers never like to throw away their money, and after Ned Colletti signed the right-hander to a tune of $12 million over three years (yes, this is one of the horrible signings Colletti has made), the team just couldn’t pull the plug because of the contract. So what was different now? Guerrier had just made another awful relief appearance in that 16-1 drubbing against Philadelphia, but that was no different than any other Guerrier appearance. Now we see that perhaps Guerrier may be in the mix for a possible trade to Chicago.
Tit for tat. Rumors swirled on Monday evening that the Dodgers may be close to exchanging someone for Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol. Carlos Marmol? He’s like another Brandon League, isn’t he? No, we do not want him! Or maybe we do… just bear with me here. Sure, Marmol has been designated for assignment by the Cubs after blowing saves a la Brandon League, but he was once successful as a dominant closer. In fact he collected 38 saves for Chicago back in 2010. But Stacie, Brandon League was once a successful pitcher too, and look at his awful decline. I’m fully aware of that, yes. Marmol has lost his control and he may not ever return to form. Yet a one-for-one trade for Matt Guerrier is really a fantastic way to take the risk without giving up anything or spending much and at the same time getting rid of Guerrier.
Change of scenery can do wonders for players sometimes. Marmol has pitched in just 8 games at Dodger Stadium, but he has a 1.13 ERA with 1 earned run, 9 strikeouts, 4 walks, and 5 hits in 8 innings pitched. Perhaps Rick Honeycutt can work his magic with Marmol and fix his control issues? Honeycutt did help League with his mechanical problems last season, but for some reason League has regressed. Marmol is a different pitcher than League, and while both have fallen from grace they are not totally hopeless just yet.
If the Dodgers do make this trade, I don’t think Marmol is going to be thrown in to high stake game situations. He’ll be pitching in middle relief while Honeycutt works with him. Marmol is infinitely better than Guerrier, well anyone is really, so I’d much rather see him come out of the Dodgers bullpen in any sort of situation. With some added confidence, new coaching cues, and a change of scenery, Marmol could be built back up to what his talent showed us he was capable of.
I’d much rather see the Dodgers go with the youth in Jose Dominguez and Chris Withrow than waste a spot on a declining Marmol, Stacie. This is the Dodgers we are talking about. They love veterans, and they never are quick to give the young guys much opportunity. It’s sad, but true. I think that Withrow and Dominguez have talent, but both most likely need more polishing. I’m sure we’ll see them come up and down between the big club and Albuquerque a few times.
Carlos Marmol may not be the Jason Grilli of the Dodgers future, but the 30-year old may just have some strikeouts left to show before he can be retired to the pasture of forlorn closers. If the deal is straight up Guerrier for Marmol, I’m all for it. If the trade includes any sort of prospect for Chicago or any other player of higher caliber than say a Luis Cruz, then it would be horrific. It’s no surprise that the Dodgers are looking for bullpen help. The only surprise may be the acquisition of a certain bewildered closer who turns things around and succeeds in Los Angeles. Stranger things have happened. Juan Uribe is hitting .265. Besides, if he doesn’t work out the Dodgers can designate him for assignment. There’s little risk but possibly big rewards.