Something for Nothing: Exploring the Zach Lee Trade

  Zach Lee’s tenure as a Dodger played out like a hook up with a very attractive person you meet at a party, one you never hear from again.   You two had that one night, where everything in the universe conspired for you two to come together.  You spent some time together, gave it a go, but things didn’t work out, and you haven’t talked since.  Maybe you keep tabs on him/her via social media, talk to mutual friends to see if there’s any news, but that’s about it. Your 15 minutes were up.

 On Monday, June 20th, The Dodgers traded starting pitcher Zach Lee to the Seattle Mariners for infielder Chris Taylor.  As a Dodger, Zach had one start in the bigs; a rough outing in New York, where he gave up 7 runs in 4 2/3 innings.  He was on the next bus back to AAA, and there he remained.  While putting up so-so numbers in AAA, he never really lived up to his potential, and LA finally came to grips with that and got something for him before it was too late.

[graphiq id=”2Rmdygg5kgt” title=”Zach Lee Career Pitching” width=”600″ height=”300″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/2Rmdygg5kgt” link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/18781/Zach-Lee” link_text=”Zach Lee Career Pitching | PointAfter” ]

At one time, Zach was one of the Dodger’s ‘untouchables’.  Whenever the trade winds blew, Zach’s name would inevitably come up.  One by one, teams would be told to look elsewhere. The Dodgers have a history of having one of the deepest farms in the league, and they’ve been very keen on holding onto most, if not all, of their top prospects.  They are reaping those rewards today, with ‘untouchables‘ like SS Corey Seager, and SP Julio Urias contributing at a major league level.

Los Angeles and the Relief Market

Zach, for whatever reason, never really got his 2nd chance, and thus never got to improve on the impression he left us with.  He never really recovered from that poor outing, and since he’s still keeping one eye on a college football career, he’s obviously not focusing on baseball 100%.

Now, does that mean he cannot become a Cy Young candidate in the future, and break the 20 win plateau?  No, but let’s face it, there isn’t much chance of that happening, based off of what we’ve seen out of him so far. Seattle, a club mirroring the Dodgers for number of games lost to injuries, just called up 3 starting pitchers from the minors.  None of them were named Zach Lee.

Los Angeles Dodgers fans are accustomed to big, flashy, news-breaking deals.  Moves that interrupt SportsCenter, the kind that even local news stations will stop their broadcasting to announce.  The kind of deals that your friends text you about…

‘Dude… How are we gonna replace that guy?!’ 

‘OMG THEY GOT _____________!!  SO EXCITED!!!’

Names like Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez and Hanley Ramirez harken to a time when the Dodgers put baseball on notice.  While this move doesn’t leave anyone quaking in their boots, it did improve the team.

Let’s meet infielder Chris Taylor; at 25, he’s half the age of most of our infielders (sorry Gonzo, HK, Chase, etc.), so he’s got that going for him.  Outside of that, he’s kind of an unknown. He was a 5th round pick by Seattle in 2012, broke his wrist in 2015 spring training, and has since played in 2 games and is hitting .333, going  1 for 3 in that game.  Earth shattering?  Of course not.  Serviceable?  Probably.

[graphiq id=”lffaxVCPFU9″ title=”Chris Taylor Career Batting Triple Slash” width=”640″ height=”494″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/lffaxVCPFU9″ link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/18648/Chris-Taylor” link_text=”Chris Taylor Career Batting Triple Slash | PointAfter” ]

We recently lost one of our stud minor league starters, Frankie Montas, to a 2nd broken rib, so our starting pitching depth is wanting, to say the least.  Getting a young infielder for a guy who can still opt out of his deal and play college football is a great move; depth is never a bad thing, and if said infielder is a piece that we can use to make a bigger move to address some of the gaps in our line-up, or our starting rotation…well, now we’re talking!

I’ll still keep an eye on Zach…checking his box scores up in Seattle, but it will be more out of curiosity.  Did we miss out?  Did we dodge a bullet?  Knowing when to cut bait is a fleeting talent, and it seems the Dodgers chose to let Zach go while we could still get something for him.

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Christiaan Sorensen

Lifelong Dodger fan living on the beach in San Clemente; I love all things Dodgers/Lakers/Kings and Denver Broncos (#champs). Honored to be able to write about the best franchise in sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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