Dodgers and Giants Add Pieces, A's Sell Off As Usual
August 1, 2016

What is this fascination the Los Angeles Dodgers have with broken down Oakland A's pitchers? Brett Anderson. Brandon McCarthy. Scott Kazmir (at least healthy this season so far, knock on something). Joe Blanton. How about a couple more?

Today was the Major League Baseball Non-Waiver Trading Deadline. A mouthful, but for the most part, that means the last day to make trades before a playoff run. The Dodgers made several deals, including acquiring A's starting pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick, for three minor league pitchers. Yahoo! Sports describes Hill as “being great when healthy”, and there you go. He's currently on the Disabled List with a blister. More on Reddick after this next paragraph.

In another deal, the Dodgers acquired right hander Jesse Chavez from Toronto. Chavez used to pitch with Oakland, too. He was dealt to the Blue Jays last year, and while he hasn't been hurt, he's bounced from a starter to a reliever, and really hasn't excelled at either. He has had his moments, though. The Dodger gave up Mike Bolsinger to get him—another pitcher who had a decent numbers in the minor leagues, but hasn't overwhelmed in the bigs. Hill and Chavez will be free agents at the end of the year, so the A's and Jays at least got something for them, the Dodgers hope they can get production now, and also don't have to deal with them for next year if things don't work out. It's a win-win-win situation. At least that's the Dodgers hope.

This morning, one of the first posts on, was that Cincinnati was going to trade outfielder Jay Bruce to a National League team, but not the Dodgers (he wound up with the Mets). That meant LA would likely land Reddick, and they did. Yahoo!'s analysis about Hill may be spot on, but the internet site says “Reddick gives them (the Dodgers) a much-needed left-handed bat to balance their lineup.” Balance their lineup? You mean with other lefties Utley, Seager, Gonzalez, Grandal (a switch-hitter with all his power from the left side), and Pederson? Ask Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner about balance now.

Another thing about Reddick. He does have a .296 average, but only 8 home runs and 28 runs batted in. A right-handed batter that the Dodgers already have, a guy named Yasiel Puig (remember him?) is batting .260, but with 7 homers and 34 RBIs. Also, you may not believe this, but Puig (always seemed to be plagued by a hamstring or something) has more at-bats than Reddick does this year. Puig was not dealt today, although the Dodgers tried, and he'll likely be sent to the minor leagues, at least for now.

The Dodgers also made one other deal—getting Houston reliever Josh Fields for a minor league first baseman. Fields has never played for, or ever been a part of, the Oakland A's organization, for whatever that's worth.

LA is two games behind the San Francisco Giants, who also made a deadline splash. They also traded some guys that maybe you've heard of. Today, San Francisco acquired left-handed pitcher Matt Moore from Tampa Bay in exchange for three players, including Matt Duffy. They also traded backup catcher Andrew Susac to Milwaukee as part of a deal to get reliever (not the actor) Will Smith. Moore is 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA on an underachieving Rays club, and is a solid starter to go with Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, along with guys like Jeff Samardzija, Jake Peavy, and even Matt Cain. Smith is much better in the pen than George Kontos any day, and could make a run for Santiago Casilla's closer job.

As for the A's, at least they got three minor league pitchers from the Dodgers. The best prospect is a guy named Frankie Montas, but he's hurt, so he'll fit into their organization nicely. When he gets good, the A's can trade him, or if he gets old or beat up, they can sent him back to the Dodgers.

Changing the rules: Perhaps a necessary evil, but owners/general managers/coaches should have planned for this ahead of time. The Great West League, during its All-Star break last week, voted to change the number of playoff teams from four to just two, with only two weeks remaining in the season. The six-team collegiate baseball league would have had its post-season run until August 19 or 20, with many players needing to leave, so they can get home, and then get back to school. Now they will be done by August 14, but fans of the Marysville Gold Sox, Portland Pickles, and Lodi Crushers, whose teams all had a legitimate shot at the playoffs, will likely be shut out. The Chico Heat are in second place, with Portland and Marysville chasing them with 10 days to play. It's a disservice to the fans to tell them that four teams get in, and then change midstream. It might be a bigger disappointment, though, that the teams that are in third, fourth, and fifth place, seemed to support their own early exit.

I'll Tumble 4 Ya: When the Los Angeles Lakers had a basketball game in hand—you know, a big lead with little time left, the late Chick Hearn used to say the game was “in the refrigerator.” It was put away. Turn out the lights. Done. The Marysville Gold Sox can use a different appliance as a metaphor. The Sox are in the dryer. That's because they are tumbling. Coming into tonight, they had lost 6 straight, 9 in a row on the road, and were 7-16 during the month of July. That change in the playoff rule may not matter now. They lost again tonight, and are now at .500 (24-24). It's their worst record of the year, and that's after a 15-2 start. Yes, the Sox are in the dryer, and their season is in the refrigerator. The door is closed, the lights are out, the butter is getting hard, the eggs are cooling, and the Jell-O is jiggling.

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