'The Best Trade is One You Don't Make'

There's an old baseball expression that the Dodgers could easily spout right about now. If you recall, late last fall and the early winter, one of the prime goals of the Dodgers was to find a second basemen to replace Alex Cora.

They looked into several shortstops who might agree to switch to second base. Some were available as free agents, others via trades. The expression I referred to is, "Sometimes the best trade, is the one you didn't make" and that holds as well for free agent signings which didn't come about.

The Seven key names the Dodgers were supposedly involved with were initially Luis Castillo, then Kaz Matsui. They thought about Jose Vidro and wanted Miguel Tejada. Alfonso Soriano was sought and the names of Junior Spivey and Brian Roberts were bandied about.

Well, they didn't get any of the proposed second sackers and have had Cora back in his old spot. And guess what? Alex has a higher batting average than all but one of the above mentioned players. He has the highest on base percentage of all of them. He's made less errors than all but two. Let's take a look at what each has done so far:

Player..... ba ---obp
Castillo.... .265---.335
Matsui...... .262---.347
Roberts..... .261---.330
Soriano..... .281---.324
Spivey ..... .274---.358
Tejada...... .319---.374
Vidro........ .227---.301
Alex Cora... .301---.386
RBI--Tejada 38, Soriano 29, Matsui 19, Spivey 18, Vidro 15, Cora 13, Roberts 11.

And so, the Dodgers can't feel too bad. Sure they didn't get Tejada, but he didn't want to play second base anyway and he would have cost them tens of millions of dollars.

Matsui would have cost them four times what they pay Cora and he too, didn't want to play second, but now the Mets are thinking of moving him there because he is error prone at shortstop. Thus, if Alex Cora can maintain his current hitting and getting on base and keep his fielding up, not having replaced him, would be a plus.