Sunday, April 04, 2004


Ultimately the trade was done, and despite the promise of Delino and other factors, proved to be a poor trade for the Dodgers.

In an interesting (omnious?) coincidence given the big news in Dodger town today, BP ran an interview with former Dodger GM Fred Claire a couple of days ago.

Back at the end of '93, the Dodgers, coming off a 81-81 season, needed an upgrade at 2B and had pitching to spare. Claire traded 21-year-old Pedro Martinez to the Dodgers out of concerns for his durability, and got a then hot Delino Deshields in return.

Didn't turn out so well, did it?

With little thanks to Deshields (who at his peak was little more than Jerry Hairston, Jr. or Brian Roberts, and much of his so-called decline was merely the Chavez-effect), the Dodgers finished 1st in the West in the lock-out shortened '94 and '95 seasons against mediocre competition. They also won the Wild Card in '96, but never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.

In '97 Deshields moved on with the wrong Guerrero taking his place for the Dodgers. Meanwhile, that same year Pedro became Pedro! for the Expos, going 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 304 K in 241.1 innings. Still two years away from free agency and given the money the Dodgers threw at Kevin Brown in '99 (7yrs, $105 M), they would have had more than enough to keep Pedro in blue until at least '04 or '05 (who's currently making 7yrs, $90 M with the Red Sox).

Great game today, by the way, with Pedro still looking un-Pedro-like after a rocky spring. Maybe the Dodgers can finally breathe a sigh of relief.


After a bunch of minor deals, Paul DePodesta is finally helping yesterday's prediction look good, getting Milton Bradley from the disgruntled Indians. Even if Bradley's power doesn't translate to Chavez Ravine (like Abreu, most of Bradley's power comes from doubles--.501 SLG and .180 IsoPwr last year, but only .106 HR cSLG or 21% of his SLG) he'll provide a massive boost of OBP (.421 last year) for the offensively-challenged Bums.

Figuring out where Bradley will play is a bit of problem, but my guess is that'll essentially steal another former Indians' playing time. I think they'll put him in CF (he's no worse than Roberts) and without any other options for the top of the order will even bat him lead-off ahead of LoDuca, Green, and Encarnacion.

There's no question Bradley's a quality player who will help the Dodgers this year. But like some of his mentor's win-now deals (Damon for Berroa, Koch for Hinske), the only question is whether DePo gave up too much. The Indians get Franklin Gutierrez and a PTBNL in return, and regardless of who the other player turns out to be it isn't a bad haul. Gutierrez is only 20 years old, and he hit .284 GPA in 425 AB in High A and then .323 GPA in 67 AB in AA last year. He's a toolsy player with massive power potential (.231 IsoPwr in A, .284 IsoPwr in AA) but doesn't yet have the kind of command of the strike zone coveted by DePo. PETCO sees a young Sammy Sosa as one of his top comps, but unfortunately can't tell us whether Gutierrez will also develop Sosa's mid-career patience. But for an Indians farm system full of quality future MLB talent but few future superstars, Gutierrez may be that superstar.

Red Sox and Orioles in 40 minutes....

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