With 13-Player Trade, Dodgers Become The New Yankees
The Major Leagues are a sucker bet. At the beginning of the season every team has a chance to win the World Series. But by Memorial Day, it becomes painfully apparent that some teams are playoff bound (like say, St. Louis), others have made some bad signings (helloooo, A's!), and still others only sell tickets because they have bobblehead nights (eh-hem, Philly). And this talent chasm among teams is best illustrated at the July Trade Deadline.
Back in the day, the Yankees would open their checkbook and trade for arms and legs for their playoff push, using the Royals and Diamondbacks as ersatz farm clubs. But in the new economy, it's not just about paying for the best talent on the market. And today's three-team trade among the Dodgers, Braves and Marlins shows that it's only the Dodgers and Braves that get it.
Absolutely pumped to be a part of the @Dodgers !! Looking forward to meeting my new teammates tomorrow!
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) July 30, 2015
The Dodgers got Mike Morse, Mat Latos, Alex Wood, Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Jose Peraza. In return, the Dodgers gave up, well not much. For those of you scoring at home, that makes the Dodgers rotation: Kershaw, Greinke, Anderson, Latos and Wood. That's an embarrassment of riches. And they didn't even have to give up Yasiel Puig. So how did new GM Farhan Zaidi get it done? He fed on other teams' mistakes (imagine Billy Beane with a huge budget).
Like every other playoff team, the Dodgers coveted David Price and Cole Hamels, but those are very expensive rentals as the Tigers and Phillies had no intention of just handing them over. So instead, the Dodgers went to the Marlins, a team that needs to clean up its books, and agreed to eat a bad contract to get some talent. So Zaidi likely said, "That's a shame about Morse's $15M contract through 2016 and his ugly .214 average. You know, we'd be happy to take on his salary, if we could just work something out for say, oh I don't know, Latos..." Suddenly the Marlins want to make a deal work with the Dodgers, and they'll take lesser talent just to get Morse off their books. And with the Dodgers'$8B TV contract (yes, billion), that $15M is sofa cushion change. As for Morse, the Dodgers have already DFA'ed him.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 30, 2015
The interesting part of the deal is the inclusion of Arroyo, who is fast becoming the poster boy for this process (The Dump and Thump?). After a decade of making at least 32 starts a year, the foolish Diamondbacks ignored risk management and signed Arroyo in 2014 to a two-year deal with a third-year club option. So of course, the 37-year-old went down after 14 starts and required TJ surgery. So last month the Braves stepped in and traded for him (or rather, his contract) and in return stole Touki Toussiant, the D-backs' 2014 first round draft choice. And now the Braves have shipped Arroyo and his contract to LA, without ever having him throw a pitch. And they did get Cuban Hector Olivera, a player that can help them now.
So the future of the sport is for the Dodgers and Braves to take, until the Yankees and the rest of the league catch up. But by then, they'll be on to the next strategy and polishing their rings.
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated and is one for SportsGrid.
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