Dodgers Acquire Ground Ball Specialist Scott Alexander, Infielder Jake Peter in Three-Team Deal With Royals, White Sox

The Dodgers made a trade this afternoon to help bolster their bullpen and infield depth for the upcoming season. The boys in blue acquired left handed reliever Scott Alexander, and infielder Jake Peter from the Kansas City Royals in a three team swap with the Chicago White Sox. The Pale Hose will send Peter to the Dodgers and the Dodgers will send Luis Avilan to the White Sox. The White Sox will also receive veteran Joakim Soria from the Royals. The Dodgers will send prospects Trevor Oaks and switch-hitting minor league Dominican infielder Erick Mejia to the Royals too. Some money will exchange hands as well. The Dodgers will give 2 million dollars to the White Sox while the Royals will send one million to Chicago.

There is obviously a lot to unpack about this trade. The Royals were looking to dump Soria’s remaining 9 million dollar salary since they’re in rebuilding mode. They’ll also pick up one of the Dodger’s top young pitching prospects in 24-year old Trevor Oaks. The young hurler was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2014 amateur draft. He’s been widely considered one of the better prospects in the Dodger’s system.

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The Dodgers pick up a cheap cost controlled left handed ground ball specialist to slot into their bullpen immediately. Without Avilan and Tony Watson, the Dodgers are a bit short on left handed relievers. Alexander is 28-years old but has just one full year of MLB experience. He did post a 2.48 ERA and a 73.8% ground ball rate across 69 frames in 2017 for the Royals. He has a career 7.5 K/9 rate and appeared in 58 games last season. He’s a sinkerballer who is under team control through 2020.

Peter is a 24-year old minor league infielder that split the 2017 season between the double-A and triple-A affiliates in the Chicago system. Peter bats left and can play second, short and the outfield. He hit .292 for the Charlotte Knights in 2017 with 9 home runs and a .351 on-base percentage.

The Dodgers are in the midst of fine-tuning their roster before spring training. There is certainly a lot to digest about this deal. Did the Dodgers give up too much? Or was Oaks overrated? Will Alexander turn out to be another solid under the radar reliever? Will the Dodgers miss Luis Avilan? Probably not. We’ll have more on this deal later.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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34 thoughts on “Dodgers Acquire Ground Ball Specialist Scott Alexander, Infielder Jake Peter in Three-Team Deal With Royals, White Sox

  1. I love this trade. I’ve posted time and again we needed a lefty ground ball guy like Britton, and Alexander is the next best thing, although I do worry he will walk a lot – but better a ground baller who does that than the several fastball/slider flyball pitchers we’ve got.

    Alexander has a 73% groundball rate, second only to Zach Britton.

    I’m beginning to like the way our bullpen is shaping up.

    1. YF

      It sounds like it is one of those trades that is good for everyone.

      Oaks was probably going to be blocked out, on the Dodger’s major league team, so he should have a better chance to make it, on the Royal’s major league team.

      And remember Britton had arm issues, before he injured his Achilles.

    2. I can’t say I love this trade, but it looks good on paper. Alexander projects 1.1 Wins over 69 innings. We got him for a starter that wasn’t going to get much work here, so, yeah, as Dunbar said to Wind In His Hair – “this is a good trade”.

    1. A bunch of guys – Cingrani, Fields, Baez, Koehler, Santana, Stripling, Garcia, Stewart, maybe Buehler, maybe Urias after the break. Lots of arms down in the pen. That’s good. We’re going to need them. All of them.

    2. We are a little thin on lefty relievers, but I like the core 3 and the FAZ will pick up some via the waiver slot machine.

  2. Dodgers to introduce the new Kemp Burger in 2018

    It’s the one on the right. 50 pounds. The other one is the Panda Burger, sold in SF. The Kemp Burger is free if you can eat it at one sitting. The Panda already did.

  3. Earlier this winter, the Dodgers asked if Red Sox would have interest in discussing a deal involving Bradley for Puig – more floating the idea than a trade proposal. Sox declined. What the exchange says about Bradley’s value and Sox’ options.

    1. I don’t think it’s all that complicated Bluto. The two players look very similar, the biggest difference comes right down to $/WAR. Take a look at salaries and arb years remaining and tell me what you see.

      1. Definitely not complicated, who said it was?

        From a Dodger perspective though it’s kinda curious. I would imagine they value Bradley’s CF defense, but would lose a bit offensively. Also would have meant some 25 man shuffling: Verdugo, Toles or Pederson to RF/LF, Taylor to 2B, Forsythe to bench/UTIL

          1. I like Puig in RF…..Bradley is a pretty good player, but I want to see if Yasiel improves some more this year.

  4. This is a decent deal. Oaks was blocked and Avilan is a decent, but not outstanding reliever. Infield depth with the kid Peter who fits FAZ’s profile since he plays multiple positions. Bullpen is full of arms, I guess in which order will shake out in spring.

  5. Well back home in Colorado after my holiday jaunt. Weather was a lot colder than LA. It was ZERO degrees when I went through Gunnison. About 49 here in Canon. It was a nice visit. Got a few blu rays, some cash and gift cards. My brother unloaded some of his bobble head collection on me. Nolan Ryan, as an Angel, Mike Piazza, as an A. A few others including a Pujols, Trout double bobble head. Getting settled back in and the Dodgers make this deal. So far they have basically addressed the bull pen and not much else except the Kemp deal which we have all agreed is nothing more than a salary dump. Now the question is, how long do they keep Matt, do they DFA and release, or trade him….how long does it take Adrian Gonzalez to find a job….Questions, questions, questions. I doubt they re-sign any of their own free agents. This deal pretty much eliminates bringing back Watson, who of all their free agents I thought they might want back. Darvish, well no…I think his eventual payday will be a lot more than they want to spend. If they do add a starter, I tend to believe it will be via trade, and it will not be a class A type pitcher. Well, only 39 days until the pitchers and catchers report…..

  6. I am looking at the Dodger roster as currently constructed. I wonder how many out there think this team is as good or better than the 17 squad. A lot of sideways moves, no massive changes. No one except Morrow gone who was a major contributor in 17. Oh you could argue that Utley was a big part of the team, and leadership wise you would be right, but his stats can easily be offset by someone else….say Forsythe actually reaching expectations. But is this team as good or better? Looking with my brains and not my heart, I can honestly say no. So many things would have to happen for the 18 Dodgers to reach the same heights as the 17 club, and like it or not a little heart went out with Utley gone, some bulldog from the BP with Morrow going to the Cubs. Nobody knows what the new guys will bring. It is going to be an interesting spring training.

    1. Right now I cannot say this team is better, and I think several are due for down years. A full year of Barnes/Farmer or Barnes/Grandal will help. We are not going to see another trio of breakouts like we did with Wood, Taylor and Morrow. And every contender so far seems to have gotten better.

    2. Mr. Norris
      I do not think the Dodgers are as good as 17 at least yet. I also do not think they will win anywhere near 104 games, 92 I think is a stretch.

  7. Zips projections for the Yankees are out on Fangraphs. I won’t post the link (to avoid moderation).

    It’s going to be interesting. The Yankees lineup and starters are top heavy, and they are projected to have a “historic” bullpen. Wow. And they have arguably the number 1 prospect coming up in Torres, and are at the cap threshold with prospects to pull off a Gerrit Cole trade. If the Yankees goes on another WS tear, the FAZ should get honorary rings.

    1. I like what the Yankees are doing. They have built the system to a #3 ranking and are putting together a juggernaut at the Major League level. Exciting times for Yankee fans. I’d buy a ticket to see that team play. I’m just glad they are in the American League.

      1. Yankees have a killer lineup. They are really trying hard to get Machado from the O’s. Doubt that happens. Boston going all in to get JD Martinez. Which is probably why the Puig-Bradley thing did not go far.

        1. I think the O’s would be wise not to take the chance that the Yankees would keep Machado past next year. The Yankees obviously have the young prospects to tempt Baltimore, but I too doubt that deal happens. Machado in the NL makes more sense for the Orioles.

  8. Wondering how long it takes the Dodger web site to catch up with the times. Oaks and Avilan still on the roster according to the web site. Their managers must be the slowest people in the world….Took them four days to add Kemp. Read a report that said Matt Kemp is in great shape. Guess he must be working out. I also think, and this is my own opinion, that Kike Hernandez should not be listed as an outfielder on the roster. I think anyone who is basically nothing more than a utility guy, should be listed as an infielder……

    1. I don’t think it matters at which position Kiké is listed. As you just said, he’s the consummate utility guy. So is Taylor. Heck, I’ll bet Barnes could play anywhere on the field as well.

      I want to hear, and see, more on Kemp. If he’s in shape, he could be worth keeping. I don’t buy the “no value” tag being put on him. Not yet anyway. If he shows up looking like Andruw Jones did in 2008 then yeah, ship him to … wherever. But if he gets serious about fitness, then in this lineup he could hit 30 and drive in 100 again – if given the at bats.

      1. I can understand that, but I have never thought of Kike as an outfielder…..They ought to have utility listed as a position since so many can do that. If Kemp is serious, and I think he is because it obviously was a shock to him that the Braves traded him, he could be very valuable…..guy can hit I do not care what anyone says….he always could.

        1. Mr. Norris
          Kemp is a hard guy to figure out. When you think he will perform, he doesn’t, when you think he won’t, he goes off. I hope he wants to go off. I do believe he loves LA. That would be a terrific addition for sure. FAZ will probably flip him for an injured high school player who has only played Little League.

          1. Look at it this way…..baseball was not even his best sport. He was a basketball star in high school and he came to the game relatively late for an elite athlete. He learned fast and he was good. I think his lack of production is in large part because of nagging injuries. Lets not kid ourselves, when he crashed into the wall at Coors chasing that fly ball, he was hurt a lot more than people thought, then like most guys he pushed it and came back too soon. Before that injury, Kemp was on pace to have a better year than the one before. He was hitting close to .350, had 20 homers already and over 50 ribbies. So his 2012 went down the drain because of that. He still hit .303 with 23 homers. But he was not even close to himself. 2013, also an injury year. Recovering from 3 surgeries, hamstring problem, and then his one really stupid move, not sliding in DC and injuring his ankle. That was a lost year. 2014..he rebounded offensively with a .285 average, 25 homers and 89 RBI’s. Of course all the stuff with not wanting to move from CF popped up and he got traded. But check his offensive numbers since he left the Dodgers. 15 .265 average, 23 homers and 100 RBI’s. 16.. .265 average 35 homers and 108 RBI’s. 17, another year with injuries, he still hit .276 with 19 homers and 69 RBI’s. Since he left the Dodgers he has hit 77 homers and driven in 278 runs. The Dodgers have not had an outfielder come close to that kind of production in the last 3 years. Defensively he rates as the lowest in the NL…so yeah, there are some issues. But he does not make a lot of errors…..that means nothing to the saber geeks. He just does not get to some balls like he used to. But he played LF really well his last year in LA and would slide in there nicely. If he is dedicated to being Beast Mode again, he would be a huge asset and better protection for guys like Turner and Bellinger and Seager than some of the other options. Matt can hit. That is a fact….like him or not, the guy could be huge in this lineup….if he gives up a run now and then defensively, what is the huge problem? He will win more games than he loses with that bat. By the way, Joc, Verdugo and Puig would kill to put up those kinds of numbers consistently..

      2. And Kemp coming to spring training in shape, tells me that Friedman didn’t say anything to Kemp, to discourage him, from wanting to make this team.

          1. It’s in everyone’s best interest that Kemp has a desire to improve. His money is guaranteed but his legacy isn’t. 2 good years could change a lot of opinions about him.

  9. I am pessimistic on Kemp and I don’t think the FAZ will rock the boat in the clubhouse. But if Kemp has another year in 2018 with 100+ RBIs playing a weak but not terrible left field then Roberts deserves another manager of the year award.

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