Over the years I’ve enjoyed sharing my opinion on sports especially with regard to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Kings with friends, family and on message boards around the net. So I’ve decided to combine that interest with my minor in Journalism to shares my opinions on a more regular basis.
What a day to start! On Thursday the Dodgers finalized a deal in which they acquired RHP Mat Latos and OF/1B Michael Morse from the Miami Marlins as well as LHPs Alex Wood and Luis Avilan, RHPs Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo, and middle infield prospect Jose Peraza. In exchange they send their own infield prospect in Hector Olivera, LHP Paco Rodriguez and minor league pitcher Zachary Bird to Atlanta and three minor league pitchers to Miami. Atlanta also receives a competitive balance draft pick from Miami.
Now there’s plenty of other places online that will dissect the merits of this trade from a professional standpoint. They’ll tell you how this trade strengthens the back end of the Dodgers rotation, solidifies the bullpen with setup guys for Kenley Jansen, and gives them some good young players for the future. While all of that is true, I’m here to give you more of a fan perspective.
As a fan, I’m excited to see the front office make moves to make the team better this year while also thinking about the future. What really excites me is that these moves were made without giving up any young talent. The past few days I’ve been looking at various teams rosters and if you look at teams like San Francisco and St Louis that have been consistent winners over the past few years their rosters are full of players that came up through their system. Posey, Belt, Panik, Duffy, Crawford, Bumgarner, Cain, Romo were all drafted or signed and brought up through the Giants minor league system. The same with the Cardinals with Molina, Adams, Wong, Carpenter, Lynn and Wacha.
The thing is this used to be the Dodgers way. They had the vaunted infield of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey that were all drafted by the Dodgers. They had the ROY streaks of 1979-82 (Sutcliffe, Howe, Valenzuela and Sax) and 1992-96 (Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo and Hollandsworth). But, it seems that they have gotten away from that in the past few years. On the current active roster only Joc Pederson, Scott Van Slyke, Clayton Kershaw, and Zach Lee were drafted by the Dodgers. Add to that Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero, Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez and Yimi Garica that were signed as international free agents and only nine of twenty-five players came up through the Dodgers system.
But imagine this team three years from now:
C: Yasmani Grandal/Austin Barnes
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Jose Peraza
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Alex Guerrero
LF: Scott Schebler
CF: Joc Pederson
RF: Yasiel Puig
SP: Clayton Kershaw
SP: Alex Wood
SP: Julio Urias
SP: Jose DeLeon
SP: Grant Holmes
Closer: Kenley Jansen
Of course, not all of these players are going to pan out but, imagine what it would be like if this group grew together in the minors and then as they came to the Majors. This team could be incredibly talented for several years. It’s just nice to see the Dodgers let them grow for once and not ship them off for a quick fix.