The Dodgers made three notable trades before the trade deadline, acquiring four major league players. I've already looked at the deal that brought Hanley Ramirez to LA, so let's look at the other two transactions.
Dodgers acquire Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners for Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom
Late on July 30th, the Dodgers announced a deal with the Mariners that would bring reliever Brandon League to LA for prospects Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom.
League, 29, was originally signed by the Blue Jays and traded to Seattle for Brandon Morrow. The right-handed reliever was the team's closer in 2011, recording 37 saves with a 2.79 ERA. In 2012, he began the season in the same role but soon lost the job due to lack of production. Currently, he's posted a 3.63 ERA in 46 games before the trade.
Leon Landry is a 22 year old outfield prospect drafted in 2010. Leon had an up and down start to his career but has been hitting very well in the California League thru 80 games, posting a line of .328/.358/.559 with 20 stolen bases.
Logan Bawcom is a 23 year old right-handed reliever also drafted in 2010. He's moved quickly thru the minors, reaching Double A in his second full season. He'd settled in as Chattanooga's closer, posting 22 saves with a 2.60 ERA.
The main reason League was acquired was so the Dodgers could replace Josh Lindblom, who would be moved in the other deadline deal. The problem is that Brandon League is a free agent at the end of the year, so you're acquiring a 2 month rental to replace a guy who is under control for the next 5 years.
The problems don't end there. League, in spite of his stuff, doesn't strike guys out. His K rate has dropped each of the past three years and is now 5.44 per 9, which is extremely low for a reliever. His walk rate isn't that bad and he doesn't allow many home runs, though.
Landry and Bawcom weren't two of the Dodgers' better prospects, but they did have some potential. While Landry's numbers were certainly inflated by the Cal League, he's a good defender in center field with good enough speed to steal bases and even adds a little pop. Bawcom has been strong in his brief time in Double A and isn't far from the majors. So there's a potential 12 years of control lost.
Overall, I understand why the team made the deal but it's contingent on who the Dodgers got in the other trade. The club is banking on Landry and Bawcom not reaching the majors, because even average performance for a few years would be worth more than 2 months of League.
Dodgers acquire Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies for Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin
Just hours before the deadline, the Dodgers made their last move by acquiring outfielder Shane Victorino for reliever Josh Lindblom and right-handed starting prospect Ethan Martin.
Victorino, 31, was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 1999 draft. Before he could make it to Dodger Stadium, being plucked from the team by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft. He was returned to the Dodgers the next year, but was again a Rule 5 draft pick in 2004, when the Phillies acquired him. He spent the next 8.5 seasons in Philly, posting a line of .277/.343/.434 with 88 homers and 186 stolen bases.
Lindblom, drafted in the second round in 2008, had been in the Dodgers' pen for a total of 75 games, posting an ERA of 2.91. Martin, also drafted in 2008, had struggled in his first three full seasons, but has appeared to start turning things around in 2012 with a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts.
The Dodgers need hitters, but I'm not sure Victorino is the answer. Like League, Victorino is a free agent at the end of the season, meaning the Dodgers are giving up a solid reliever and a pitching prospect with some potential for a 2 month rental.
Not only is it a matter of control, it's a matter of production. Victorino had a good 2011 campaign, he was batting just .261/.324/.401 at the time of the trade. He's been struggling against righties this season, batting just .242 against them. That means he's essentially a platoon player.
As I've stated, I liked the Ramirez deal due to the fact that the team didn't give up too much and got a player with star ability. However, these last two moves don't improve the club that much. I still don't think the Dodgers have enough offense to compete and would have greatly benefited from getting Victorino's teammate, Hunter Pence, who was traded to the Giants.
Overall, while the club may have improved a little, I don't see these moves pushing the team over the edge into the postseason. I give Colletti a B.
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LA Dodgers InsiderYesterday at 9:09 AM