Sometimes life gets in the way of baseball. Today was one of those days for me. It was a happy day for me as I passed a very difficult exam that I had been studying for the last several months. However while I was sitting for my exam the MLB non-waiver trade deadline was concluding with a flurry of moves. The Dodgers made two moves today, acquiring Minnesota infielder Brian Dozier (yes the very same Dozier the Dodgers almost acquired a couple of years ago) and reliever John Axford from the Blue Jays in a separate trade.
The deal for Dozier was a long time coming. The Dodgers were rumored to have a deal for Dozier two years ago but were unable to close the deal with the Twins. Instead they acquired Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitching prospect Jose De Leon. Ironically Forsythe was the only major league player included in the Dozier deal which was announced just before the deadline.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2018
#Twins are getting forsythe, Smeltzer and Raley for Dozier
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2018
The Dodgers sent Forsythe, and two minor leaguers, corner outfielder Luke Raley and right hander Devin Smeltzer. You may remember Smeltzer from Major League spring training. The Dodgers gave him an invite and a look before sending him down to Double-A Tulsa. He’s spent the entire 2018 season there posting a 4.73 ERA while striking out 7.2 per nine innings. As for Raley, he’s been with the Drillers as well this year, batting .275 17 home runs and a .345 on-base percentage across 435 plate appearances.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) July 31, 2018
Dozier has had a terrible year. He’s batting just .224 with 16 home runs and his on-base percentage has plummeted to .305. He’s posted an OPS+ of 91 which means he’s been below average offensively in 2018. Dozier’s remaining salary and Forsythe’s remaining salary are identical (9 million dollars) which means the Dodgers stay below the luxury tax threshold. As to how Dozier will fit into the Dodger’s lineup is unclear. However Dozier has seen time at shortstop and third base during his minor league days. Logan has had a horrible season at the plate as well, batting just .207 with a 53 OPS+ across 211 plate appearances this season.
#BlueJays have agreed to trade John Axford to the Dodgers per source
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) July 31, 2018
As for Axford, the Dodgers sent minor leaguer right hander Corey Copping to Toronto in exchange for Axford. The Axford deal is a bit confusing due to him being way past his prime but somewhat understandable given that the Dodgers need some relief help. Axford now 35 years old has pitched in 45 for the Blue Jays this season posting a 4.41 ERA and striking out 50 across 51 innings pitched. Axford has punched out 8.8 batters per nine and 7.8 hits per nine. More to come on these moves later.