Sarah's Take: Dodgers give up a lot in blockbuster
One day after the Dodgers were involved in a three-team, 13-player trade with the Braves and Marlins, they acquired 26-year-old outfielder Jose Tabata from the Pirates for Michael Morse. Morse, a veteran first baseman-outfielder, came over from the Marlins in the blockbuster deal.
The trade involving the Dodgers, Marlins and Braves didn't make sense to me. With all of the new players coming aboard, Los Angeles optioned Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee to the Minor Leagues.
I agree the Dodgers needed to bolster their starting rotation and bullpen. But at what price?
Mat Latos should be able to give L.A. a reliable veteran starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. He isn't a superstar, though he has performed well since returning from his stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation.
The Marlins also required the Dodgers to take the expensive Morse -- and his low batting average -- off their hands.
Los Angeles didn't need Morse, hence its trade with Pittsburgh the next day. To get both Latos and Morse, the Dodgers gave up three Minor Leaguers. Latos might help the Dodgers win their third consecutive National League West title.
However, in the component of the deal with the Braves, president Andrew Friedman gave up a lot to get five players. The Dodgers spent $62.5 million in March to get Hector Olivera. Throughout the season, fans heard how good Olivera was at third base and thought he would be in Los Angeles at any time. Now, he is a Brave.
Ever since Adrian Beltre left as a free agent at the end of the 2004 season, the Dodgers have had trouble settling on a regular third baseman. Yes, Friedman feels the Dodgers have adequate hot-corner depth with Justin Turner, Alberto Callaspo and Alex Guerrero. But now Turner has a leg infection and no one knows when he will return. Callaspo has been used sparingly and hasn't impressed me with his play. When they acquired him for Juan Uribe, a fan favorite and an excellent defensive third baseman, the Dodgers billed Callaspo as a super-utility man. Dodger fans haven't seen him play anywhere other than third.
Guerrero took the NL by storm in April, when he hit five home runs. He hasn't made adjustments to opposing pitchers, so he has struggled offensively since May.
Since the Dodgers gave Olivera such a lucrative contract, they must have thought of him as an everyday player. At every level of the Minors, he had terrific statistics. When manager Don Mattingly met Olivera, he was impressed by his politeness and respect.
While it's true the Dodgers could use more relievers in their pursuit of a playoff berth, I think they will miss Paco Rodriguez. Since 2013, when he came to the Majors in the same year he was drafted, he has had health and control problems. But he's a left-handed pitcher who can throw hard.