A Look at the Departed

In 2006 the Dodgers have traded prospects with varying degrees of promise for players they hoped would help out at the major league level. You can decide whether those obtained have (or had, since several have already departed) any value. Right now, let's see how the onetime Dodgers fared.

In January, the then new general manager Ned Colletti made two major moves. In one he sent the enigmatic Edwin Jackson and lefthander Chuck Tiffany to Tampa Bay for Danys Baez and Lance Carter. Baez is long gone, Carter spent most of the year at Las Vegas trying to regain his touch. How did Jackson and Tiffany do?

Just as he had with the Dodgers, Jackson dimmed after that once bright beginning. Sent to Durham, the D-Rays' AAA farm team , he suffered just as badly. Bothered by arm troubles, he was shut down for the month of July and when he came back was used in short relief. What a difference!

For the last month, his fast ball was regularly clocked at 97-98 mph and he was correspondently brilliant. Overall his record was anything but imposing- 3-7 but in August he looked every bit as good as he had when he outpitched Randy Johnson in his major league debut.

Tiffany, though ,had arm troubles right from the start so was shut down after just 12 innings. In those, he issued 14 walks, was 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA. He'll have to come back from surgery now.

Another January deal saw Steve Schmoll sent to the Mets, along with Duaner Sanchez for Jae Seo and Tim Hamulack. Seo's gone, Hamulack's back to try again and Schmoll? He spent his summer at Norfolk and it wasn't particularly pleasant as he was 5-4 with a 4.69 ERA. Opponents hit .271 against him.

July saw Blake Johnson and Julio Pimentel traded along with Odalis Perez to Kansas City for Elmer Dessens. That was more a case of having to throw some prospects in in order for the Royals to take Perez off the Dodgers' hands. They wanted Hong-Chi Kuo but Colletti wisely wouldn't go for that so the Royals then opted for Johnson as the key man in the deal.

He was pitching at Vero Beach at the time . He'd begun the year very well but was in a bad slump when the trade was made. The Royals sent him to High Desert in the California League where he promptly threw the ball 94 mph, then broke down. So, he's another who will have to return from surgery having gone 1-1, 5.73 in the 11 innings he was able to work since the trade.

Pimentel was virtually a homeless person by that time for his once bright future had been blighted by increasingly awful displays at Vero. But at High Desert, he seemed to recover for he was a presentable 2-1, 3.18 for them.

Just before the trading deadline expired, Joel Guzman was moved to Tampa Bay for Julio Lugo. Guzman had been considered one of the top echelon prospects in the system so his departure caused a flurry. Sent to Durham, where he became a teammate of Jackson's again, he did little to suggest he'd be missed for he managed only a .193 mark with three home runs.

The final trade came late in August with Jhonny Nunez dispatched to Washington for Marlon Anderson. You'll have to wait till next year to see how Nunez does for his season ended when the Gulf Coast club finished.

Of course, those are the early returns and you always have to be cautious about them. Matters have a way of changing. Just ask the president of the United States, Al Gore.

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