The Dodgers made a three-way trade on Thursday that sent away Luis Avilan and Trevor Oaks and landed them Scott Alexander and Jake Peter. Scott Alexander is the early prize for the trade as the Dodgers were able to get a replacement for Tony Watson who was critical to the bullpen success in the postseason.
Scott Alexander is a 28-year old left-hander with one full season under his belt. Alexander was drafted by the Royals in the 6th round by the Kansas City Royal back in 2010. He made his MLB debut in 2015 with the Royals. Alexander had a great season last year in his first full season with a 2.48 ERA in 69 innings. Alexander had a decent 7.7 strikeouts per 9 innings, but an even more impressive 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Where Alexander makes his money is by inducing ground balls. Alexander had a 73.8% groundball rate last season, that was good enough to lead the league. On top of that, Alexander had a 78.1% strand rate for baserunners, that isn’t top of the league, but it’s good enough for 65th best in the league.
Alexander held hitters to a .243 average and did not have drastic splits against righties and lefties. He was actually more successful against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .240 average in 50 innings opposed to a .250 average to lefties in 19 innings. Both of those numbers are better than Tony Watson’s numbers last season (.270 vs. L, .271 vs. R). While Alexander is not a lefty specialist, he’s a usable arm against both righties and lefties.
The move to get Alexander was yet another small move that Andrew Friedman does that will help the Dodgers in the long run. Although he only has one full season under his belt, he has proven to be a valuable arm out of the bullpen. What makes him even more valuable is that he is likely to make the major league minimum ($535,000). Alexander has a little over a year in MLB service so he is not arbitration eligible for another five more years and still has two minor league options remaining.
You can’t help but be excited this move by Friedman because although it’s not a sexy one, it’s a move for a player that will help the Dodgers now and for several years to come. This also fits their goal of trying to shed their salary cap number. It’s just another move that assures the MLB that the Dodgers have two of the best in the business running the show in LA.
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