The Dodgers finally broke through on the final day before the trade deadline ends to make a large move. The club announced that they have acquired left handed starting pitcher Rich Hill and left handed hitting outfielder Josh Reddick from the A’s in exchange for reliever Frankie Montas, and minor league pitchers Grant Holmes, and Jharel Cotton. The club just officially announced the deal about a half an hour ago.
What the trade signifies is the Dodger’s need for starting pitching and another outfielder/bat. Although you would think they would need a right handed hitting outfielder more than a left handed hitting outfielder. Especially true if they end up dealing Yasiel Puig.
On the surface the deal looks appealing. They get two good players for cheap salary and they don’t have to offer either of them a qualifying offer in the off-season. Both come cheap as Reddick is being owed 6.75 million dollars this season and Hill just over 6 million. Both are free agents at the end of the season and theoretically if they are rentals, they come very cost effective. We all know how much Andrew Friedman loves cheap controllable assets.
Reddick is a good player and a fine outfielder. He’s slashing .296/.368/.449 with 8 home runs and 28 RBI in 272 plate appearances. Reddick’s defensive metrics have always been favorable as well, although his glove work is ranked slightly less this season than his usual career norms.
What Reddick brings this year is a good bat with great on-base skills and some pop. His .368 OBP makes up for his declining power. Reddick once slugged 32 home runs in 2012, and 20 home runs last season. He’s posted an .816 OPS and 124 OPS+ which are well above league average. What the Dodgers do get with Reddick is a solid overall player. He can hit, get one base, hit for power, play solid defense and run the bases well. If the Dodgers are trading Puig, Reddick could fill in at right field, or play left field which would push Howie Kendrick back to second base.
As for Rich Hill the Dodgers are getting a guy who has pitched very well for Oakland this year. That’s one thing I like about this trade. The Dodgers are trading for players who are having good seasons. Unlike last year when they traded for guys who were struggling (Mat Latos, Alex Wood). That’s an important thing when you are making trades.
The problem with Hill is that he’s old and injury prone. Hill is 36-years old and currently on the disabled list with a finger blister. It’s nothing serious but the Dodgers are going to have to wait a few days to be able to use him. He had a groin strain earlier in the year that seems to have healed.
Hill does not have an established history of success or health, although he seems to be relatively healthy this season. Overall Hill has posted a 9-3 record and a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts. He’s struck out 90 and walked 28 while allowing just 6.5 hits per nine innings. He’s only allowed 2 home runs as well which indicates his heavy four-seamer and curveball are able to keep the ball in the park. Spin rate loves his curveball which basically means his curve spins a lot.
The Dodgers are giving up a pretty decent haul of prospects for these guys. Frankie Montas was the fireballer acquired in the Jose Peraza trade last offseason that netted the Dodgers Trayce Thompson and Micah Johnson. Montas never pitched this year for the Dodgers after suffering a rib injury. He had another setback and it appears he probably won’t pitch this year. So I don’t care about the Dodgers losing him. He’s 22-years old so I’m sure he’ll recover.
Losing Holmes and Cotton stings of course. Holmes was a first round pick and Cotton is a 24-year old power arm. Cotton is struggling in Oklahoma City though. He’s posted a 4.90 ERA in 97.1 innings pitched while racking up a lot of strikeouts. His run average is 5.46 and he’s allowed 17 home runs. However his strikeout to walk ratio is good.
Holmes was still at the single-A ball level with Rancho and probably several years away from being able to contribute at the major league level. Holmes had posted an 8-4 record with a 4.02 ERA in a little over 100 innings of work. Both were considered top ten prospects within the Dodger’s organization.
Again it sucks losing those kids, but you have to give up guys to get guys. Hoarding every prospect doesn’t make sense unless you have no desire to go for it. The Dodgers are in position to win the division and at least make the postseason. The Dodgers had glaring holes in the rotation and outfield. A move had to be done. Don’t cry Argentina about losing prospects. Prospects come and go and the majority of them will either never reach the majors or become role players. I would trade 100 Grant Holmes’ if it meant a shot at a World Series. I would trade 10,000 Julio Urias’s for just one pennant.
The Dodgers are going for it this year in Andrew Friedman’s own small market way. Let’s see if this trade becomes another underwhelming move, or if this pays dividends for the Dodgers. There’s about an hour left before the trade deadline ends. Let’s see if Friedman pulls off another move.