Checking In On The Dodgers’ Offseason Signings And Trades

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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So, how’s it going?

In October of 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers spent $35 million to bring in Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations. Almost immediately, Friedman went about tearing up a team that had just won 94 games.

Broadly speaking, the results have been great. The Dodgers are, at worst, the second-best team in the National League right now. They’ve built up a nice little cushion on the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, the only teams in the West capable of pushing them for a division title.

The pitching is good. The hitting has been better than anticipated. As a team, they’re catching the ball. But are they succeeding because of, or in spite of, all that activity?

Good a time as any to check the early returns of Friedman’s busy winter.

The deal: The Dodgers trade Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Miguel Rojas to Miami for Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Kike Hernandez, and Austin Barnes… then flipped Heaney to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Howie Kendrick.

The logic: “Gordon had his best season in the Majors last season — All Star! — but faded badly in the second half, making him a perfect sell-­high candidate. Haren was solid last season pitching at the bottom of the rotation, but not irreplaceable.

Hatcher posted sneaky ­good numbers out of Miami’s pen last year. Hernandez is a young, live bat capable of playing multiple positions. Kendrick, most importantly, represents an upgrade offensively and defensively over Gordon.”

How’s it going? Raise your hand if you picked Gordon as your 2015 batting champ? Put your hand down, you liar. Tom Gordon didn’t pick Dee Gordon to win a batting title. But here we are.

Gordon leads the Majors by a mile in batting average and hits. He’s fourth in the National League in stolen bases. He’s quickly become a huge favorite among the 48 people regularly showing up for Marlins games.

Gordon has also made a significant improvement defensively, going from a minus at second to a plus, early though it may be. In short, he’s been great. On the other hand, Gordon’s BABIP is a wildly unsustainable at .479 and he still doesn’t walk much.

Saying Gordon’s numbers will level out isn’t exactly spouting haterade, but it’s reasonable to believe he can do a better job maintaining an elevated level of play this year relative to last.

Natural growth and improvement, and all that. I hope so. Gordon is a really good dude, and as easy to pull for as any athlete in sports.

Haren, his recent outing at Dodger Stadium notwithstanding, has been typically solid. On the Dodgers side of things, Kendrick has been almost exactly as advertised. Were Gordon not posting video game numbers, nobody would even think to complain.

He’s shown some pop, driven in some runs, reached base at a typically Kendrickian clip, and so on. (With a little more pop than normal, actually.)

Kendrick’s defensive metrics are below career norms — disappointing — but he’s not been a butcher and it’s reasonable to believe those numbers will trend up. In short, Howie Kendrick is set to post a Howie Kendrick season. That’s a good thing.

As for the other chips, Hatcher has been a roller coaster. The stuff is there — 11.25 K/9 — but the consistency isn’t, with too few clean innings on his game log. It’s easy to see why the Dodgers wanted him, but he’s not exactly inspired great confidence.

Hernandez has already played five positions in very limited duty, spending much of the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City. Overall, the Marlins are ahead in this one, thanks to Gordon’s eye­popping start.

CONTINUE READING: Reviewing The Trade With The Rays And More

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  1. You all talking bout Gorden he is a good player, but he didn’t fit for the Dodger lineup and I hope he does will with the Marlins. Kendrick is a good player. He just have to get adjusted with the new team. His is fantastic player. All the guys well devalope with the New Team. Lets see what the Middle of July then we can all share our Feeling with the Dodger. Now Lets play Dodger Ball and Be Happy. win win win. I love LA Dodger fan for over 55 years with them. Go Dodgers.

    1. He didn’t fit the Dodger lineup?, that’s moronic…..He a better leadoff hitter than anyone they have used there so far. He has more stolen bases than the entire Dodger team. He is fielding well, and between he and Haren, they have done more than the 2 parts of the trade that are on the big league roster…..Hatcher and Hernandez. Kendrick has been great at home and lousy on the road. They could have kept Dee and got a SS who would not have been as lousy in the field as the aging Rollins who already has 6 errors…….

        1. Well Mr Ninja…..last time I checked this was the good old USA, where I as well as you am entitled to my opinion. Sorry. splooge is not a word….at least not in the English dictionary….and what Dee did last year is in the past……He was a young player playing a position he had never played before and he did a pretty good job. Now if he fades again this year and has a terrible second half, like our daunted Mr Puig did last year, then you can say he is that kind of player who fades. Hatcher is less than advertised. I actually like Kike, Barnes is at AAA.. Haren until he lost to the Dodgers was pitching better than either of the free agent pitchers we signed. Kendrick has been as advertised, and I knew he would be…..but he and Rollins are nothing more than one year rentals., I would have liked the trade a lot more if they had kept Heaney. As far as caught stealing…well Rollins is 3-6 in steals….50% That’s pathetic, and the so called better glove? Well 6 errors already and we are only in May….Just because I do not toe the company line and gush over every move these two bozo’s make, does not make me a less passionate fan of the team than you. I just happen to have a different opinion than you…….and if you do not like my complaining about the front office, well that’s just too bad because I have earned the right to from close to 60 years being a fan……

          1. Your complaining gets annoying because you have an obvious agenda each time you post something. Some people just want to talk baseball. Others, it would appear, are willing to ruin that fun with incessant trolling.

          2. Don’t like it…don’t read it…….it is an open forum, I am not a troll. been a fan of the team a lot longer than you, but I do not have to agree with every move, and who made you judge and jury….???

          3. Judge jury and executioner. Now off you go you silly Giants fan.

          4. And obviously a moron to boot……..born and raised in LA jerkoff……Dodger fan all my life…..so kiss it…..a hole..

          5. The only moron here is you. All anybody has to do is read your uneducated posts. So why don’t you eat the nuts in my shit, stupid Giants fan?

          6. FO and die punk…..you are the biggest know nothing a hole on this site…you think yours is the only opinion that matters and anyone who disagrees with your BS is wrong, I am far from uneducated and would bet that I know way more about Dodger history than you…..and seeing how your pic is not on here I would figure also that you are some little guy who likes to feel big…..

          7. By the way…..silly Giants fan? That as strong a comeback you can muster? I would have a war of wits with you…..but I hate to fight an unarmed man…….

      1. And what is with you with presenting information in a false and distorted manner? The comparison is Gordon/Haren v. KENDRICK (because we got him directly for Heaney), Hatcher, Hernandez and soon to be Barnes.

        You’re insane if you think Gordon/Haren have “done more.”

        You splooge over Gordon, which is fine,but you don’t acknowledge that Gordon actually leads the MLB in caught stealing. He’s 12 for 19 (that’s a 63% success rate) You never acknowledge that Gordon had 3 really good months last year before tailing off. You don’t mention that Gordon had 4 walks in the second half last year. The fact is the Dodgers sold high and got a huge return for a player who is an automatic out if he’s not hitting.

  2. You win some and lose some in baseball. Pederson has been very good but is a rookie and will have his ups and downs. Kendrick is a very steady force at second and a great gap hitter. Grandal has been sensational in May offensively and has thrown out some runners from behind the plate. McCarthy did not stay healthy but Bolsinger, Nicasio, Liberatore have been great. Hernandez is a very good utility guy and Barnes looks impressive in AAA. And with Kershaw not having normal results and McCarthy, Ryu and Jansen out the team is in first. Much more than we could count on especially with Puig and Crawford out most of the year so far. So overall I would say it has been a great start. If Beachy comes back strong from his rehab and Ryu is back after the All Star Game we are in good shape. I do think we will see a trade in June though as with Olivera in the US now and Guerrero, Turner and Uribe playing third we have some trade pieces. Especially with perhaps a young BP pitcher we could trade. And maybe a young arm not named Urias in the Minors. Oh and please an outfielder to clear some room.

  3. I will never forgive the Dodgers for screwing the fans from watching the games on T.V. NEVER!

    It’s so bad that you can’t even get them on pay-per-view MLB package. It’s a royal fuck-over!

    And…I’ll never forgive them for trading Dee Gordon. After putting the years and coaching into training him. The shit that Dodger management spews like, ‘We are committed to building and developing from within’ is complete horseshit. That trade made no sense. Gordon’s fast, young, and put in the extra hours to become a brilliant player. Just an asinine move. No one thinks this move was good or “worth it”. NO ONE….except the Marlins of course.

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