Dodgers Keep the Kids, Come Up Empty at Trade Deadline
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti with prospect.
Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers
Twenty-six years is a long time between pennants. Unacceptably long; the longest period without a World Series appearance in Dodgers franchise history. That’s L.A. and Brooklyn.
Of course, 1988 was glorious, but there is a large and growing contingent of L.A. fans who just cannot look at the brake lights of the departed in the Chavez Ravine parking lot one more time without a referral for counseling.
Every team with legitimate Fall Classic aspirations did something, either before today’s non-waiver trading deadline, or earlier in the season. The Angels, the A’s, the Braves, the Brewers, the Cardinals, the Nationals, the Orioles, the Tigers and the Yankees all made trades to upgrade their rosters. Some were blockbusters deals while others centered around complementary pieces.
And your Los Angeles Dodgers did absolutely nothing. Diddly squat #Lame. They didn’t get a starting pitcher, and they need at least one. Didn’t get a reliever, and they need at least one. Didn't get catching help, didn't get a bench piece, and they didn’t unload an outfielder, and they have at least five.
Yes, general manager Ned Colletti can add players in August via the waiver wire and he’s done so before. The most prominent example occurred on Aug. 25, 2012, when Colletti sent Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, James Loney, Jerry Sands and Allen Webster to Boston for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto. But stud starters like John Lackey, Jon Lester and David Price have all been traded to clubs with GMs more wide-eyed than the Dodgers', and the pickin's are slimmer now that the 1 p.m. July 31 deadline has passed.
Perhaps a blockbuster involving Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels is in the August offing, or a less dramatic acquisition for the likes of Bartolo Colon or Jason Hammel. Colletti will continue to look for bullpen help, and the team might yet turn over 20 percent of its roster. But as a former Los Angeles football coach once famously said, the future is now. There may be no clock in baseball, but there is a calendar, and precisely 54 games (or one-third) remain on the Dodgers' schedule.
Nine contending teams took the initiative to improve in July by dealing for new players; Los Angeles chose not to. They have improved on their own, however, going from 48-38 and half a game up on second place San Francisco to 61-47 and three ahead during the month, with a game to be played tonight at 7:10 p.m., Julio Teheran versus Clayton Kershaw at Chavez Ravine. Maybe that will suffice.
The family jewels are in place as well. Colletti indicated an unwillingness to part with the team’s best minor leaguers – center fielder Joc Pederson, shortstop Corey Seager and pitcher Julio Urias – and they are safely tucked away in Albuquerque, Chattanooga and Rancho Cucamonga, respectively.
Talented but less coveted kids remain in-house, too; trade chips such as pitchers Chris Anderson, Zach Lee, Chris Reed and Tom Windle, and position players like Scott Schebler and Darnell Sweeney. Could one or more of these young men have been traded to Tampa Bay, perhaps with someone off the major league roster for David Price? Might that have been better than the three-team package of Nick Franklin, Drew Smyly and Willy Adames headed to Florida this afternoon?
Who knows. Maybe the Dodgers kids were dangled and no one bit. Maybe they’re being dangled now for an August deal. Perhaps Colletti will provide the answers to these questions in short order, and perhaps we’ll never know.
What we do know is this: a bunch of teams pulled the trigger, and are better positioned for a World Series run today then they were yesterday. The Dodgers are exactly where they were yesterday, a quarter of a century plus a year out from their last National League flag. And it is very, very disappointing.
And remember, glove conquers all.
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