The trade deadline is now behind us and the Dodgers made a flurry of trades during the final hours. As the clock ticked down to 1 PM PST, the Dodgers who appeared as if they weren’t going to make any moves at all, but instead completed three trades with three different clubs for three pitchers. They acquired two left handed relievers and of course the prize of the deadline, all-star right hander Yu Darvish.
In case you missed it, the Dodgers acquired left handed reliever Tony Watson from the Pirates in exchange for two minor leaguers. Those two single-a ball players are considered upside guys or potentially raw talents in the early stages of their developments. 21-year old pitcher Angel German, and 18-year old infielder Oneil Cruz, a pair of Dominican born players were shipped to the Pirates in exchange for Watson.
Watson, the 32-year old veteran reliever is believed to be able to help the Dodgers immediately as a situational lefty. The Dodgers hope that his decreased strikeout rates are a blip on the radar of a down season, yet his 43% ground ball rate in 2017 is something that can greatly benefit them. Watson has posted a 2.68 ERA over seven seasons in Pittsburgh. He’s been able to have varied success against left handed hitters, but has struggled this season. He should be able to perform in tandem with Luis Avilan as the primary lefties in the Dodger pen.
The Dodgers also dealt outfielder Scott Van Slyke, and 20-year old rookie league catcher Hendrik Clementina to the Reds for lefty Tony Cingrani. The 28-year old Cingrani was once a prized starting pitcher for the Reds in the beginning of his career, but injuries and poor performance lead to his demotion to the Cincinnati bullpen. While Cingrani has had his issues, namely problems with the long ball, he still can throw hard. Cingrani has posted a 9.3 K/9 rate and struck out 9.3 over the course of his career with the Reds. It’s unclear what his role with the Dodgers will be, but he comes cheap since the flame thrower is earning just 1.83 million dollars this season.
As for Van Slyke, once a useful lefty mashing bat off the bench had fallen out of favor with the Dodgers in recent years due to injuries and poor hitting. He’s certainly sucked over the past several seasons and the Dodgers have little use for him any longer with his positions manned by younger better players. Van Slyke has spent most of the 2017 season in Oklahoma City, with sporadic stints with the Dodgers earlier in the season. Van Slyke was batting .122 (5 for 41) with 2 home runs in 48 plate appearances for the Dodgers this season.
Of course the biggest deal of the frenzy came at the last minute. It wasn’t announced until after the 1 PM PST cut-off. The Dodgers dealt three minor leaguers to the Texas Rangers for right hander Yu Darvish. The Dodgers traded one of their top prospects, Willie Calhoun who was the centerpiece of the swap to the Rangers along with Brendon Davis, and AJ Alexy.
Calhoun was the youngster most coveted by the Rangers as his hitting prowess is well known by now. Despite his defensive issues the 22-year old hitting specialist was batting .298 with 23 home runs and posted a .931 OPS in Oklahoma City this season. Davis is a 20-year old slugger with Great Lakes, and Alexy a 19-year old hurler who has struck out 10.5 per nine innings this year at Great Lakes as well.
Darvish is more than just well known. He was considered the top pitcher rumored to be available at the trade deadline. Darvish is a 4-time all-star who has led the league in strikeouts back in 2012, and struck out 11 batters per nine innings across his five-year MLB career in Arlington. This year Darvish has posted a 4.01 ERA over 137 frames with 148 strikeouts and 45 walks. He’s whiffed 9.8 per nine this season and allowed just 7.6 hits per nine innings in 22 starts. He has a 3.22 career ERA in 122 games and has posted a 52-39 record across 782 big league frames.
Two of the three pitchers (Darvish and Watson) are eligible for free agency this winter, so it is possible they could become short term rentals. Cingrani has two more years of arbitration left and would be under team control until 2020.
The Dodgers definitely bolstered their pitching staff for October, but had to part with some good prospects in order to do it. Do you think the Dodgers had a great day? Or do you think they gave up too much?