Sep 172012

Below is a complete list of every trade orchestrated by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti through September 1, 2012. This is the most complete and accurate list of all the trades completed during the Ned Colletti era on the web.

Colletti became the 10th General Manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the 5th General Manager for the team in the past 8 years when he was hired prior to the start of the 2006 season. He came in replacing Paul DePodesta, when he was fired after a very disappointing 2005 season. In his first ever trade as Dodgers GM, Colletti traded headcase Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to the Oakland Athletics for Andre Ethier. So much for Moneyball eh Billy Beane?

There is no denying that Colletti has made some very questionable trades since his arrival to Los Angeles. However, landing Andre was Ethier either the luckiest move ever, or he really did his homework, and stole Ethier right from under Beane’s nose. That was by far his best move, but Colletti has had some other brilliant moments, especially when he landed Manny Ramirez in 2008, only giving up Andy LaRoche. One of my other personal favorites was the Juan Pierre for Jon Link and John Ely trade. That one worked out pretty well. Ely was just named PCL Pitcher of the Year as a member of the Albuquerque Isotopes. Winning.

Colletti also acquired Alex Castellanos for Rafael Furcal, who was done in Los Angeles, with the Dodgers ready to start the Dee Gordon experiment. That brings us to 2012, the year where Colletti acquired Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, Brandon League, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, and Josh Beckett. Of course the Dodgers gave up some quality prospects to make that happen, but the top 3 prospects were still with the Dodgers organization after the dust settled on all those trades. Job well done? I tend to lean on the side of yes.

Before 2012 we saw Colletti give away players like Cody Ross, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, James McDonald, and Trayvon Robinson. How many of those guys would you like to have on the Dodgers current roster right now? Just sayin’! The sad part is we have nothing to show for Ross, Jackson, Santana, Bell, or McDonald. At least we got three decent prospects for Robinson. Tough pill to swallow, no doubt.

Sure the Dodgers found success in 2008 and 2009, due in large part to Colletti. But along the way were some very bad baseball decisions.

The Dodgers of 2011 barely put together a winning season going 82-79, finishing 11.5 games out of first place. A season filled with Frank McCourt and all of his reality series drama led to a very frustrating season for fans. From the brutally public divorce, the embarrassing battle with Bud Selig, the bankruptcy, and his eventual agreement to sell the team. The Dodgers were plagued with all sorts of misfortune in 2011. There were a few bright spots for the Dodgers though, the MVP caliber season turned in by Matt Kemp, and watching Clayton Kershaw dominate the National League, and eventually win his first Cy Young. Perhaps the brightest spots though was the way Colletti and Mattingly committed to the youth of the franchise. Going with players like Justin Sellers, Jerry Sands, Nate Eovaldi, and Javy Guerra. In years past we would have seen Ronnie Belliard, Scott Podsednik, and Octavio Dotel brought in at the deadline. Yuck! The Dodgers found a ton of success in the second half going 41-28 after the All-Star break. But the season was considered a huge disappointment as the Dodgers failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse the Dodgers had one of the highest payrolls in baseball at a whopping $119MM. This winter Colletti has fallen right back to his old ways as we have seen the signings of a few old men and a complete waste of $24MM.

On March 26, 2012 the Dodgers were purchased by Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Guggenheim Baseball for a record-setting $2.2BB. It officially began a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with Colletti’s history as GM for the Dodgers having mixed reviews to say the least, most fans and insiders believed Colletti would be sent packing. Immediately upon the new ownership group’s arrival, they made it very clear Colletti will be given a chance to really manage this franchise. Something that for the last 5 months Colletti has done very well. Colletti’s first big order of business in the Guggenheim era was extending Andre Ethier to a five-year $85MM deal. It’s impossible to ignore everything that Colletti has done to the Dodgers during the McCourt era, but with the new owners around it’s also hard to argue that Colletti is solely to blame. Colletti has made some bad judgment calls along the way, no doubt. Looking back though, I tend to believe Colletti was handcuffed into a lot of the decisions that were made. It’s easy to point the finger at McCourt for a lot of those bad trades, but looking at what Colletti has pulled off in 2012, I just think it came down to money, and McCourt didn’t have any. So Colletti was forced to part with better prospects in efforts of trying to win the division. Tough spot to be in. Sure glad those days are over.

You will see once you dive in that Colletti has made a few good trades. But the far more of the majority has been one bad baseball decision after another. Some very big names that would really help this team right now, gone, and nothing to show for it. 2012 was a big success in my opinion, no matter what the outcome of the season is. The Dodgers are built to win now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This winter will be Colletti’s first, real true test, with rectifying the two-year deals given to Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Jerry Hairston, and Mark Ellis. There is certainly a logjam in the starting rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Josh Beckett under contract already. Sadly that rotation isn’t going to cut it. Three lefties for crying out loud! What is Colletti thinking?

So, Lilly should and will likely be traded this winter. Dodgers will eat some cash, and get some prospects in return. If Billingsley has Tommy John surgery, this could get much worse, so fingers crossed there. I think the Dodgers have to trade Lilly and Harang regardless to be able to really upgrade the rotation. We can’t have three lefties in the rotation, that is just ridiculous. I don’t really care if it’s Capuano or Lilly at this point, but one of them has got to go. Harang could be used as the imaginary sixth starter, just a fat waste of money in my opinion. I would like to see John Ely if that’s the case. The Dodgers have $188.68MM committed to the 2013 payroll already, so a few trades are definitely going to be in the works.

The infield is even more of a mess, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, and Nick Punto are already under contract. Then you have Hanley Ramirez, Luis Cruz, and Dee Gordon. Ummmmm…hello McFly…think!

Those two-year deals to Ellis and Hairston aren’t looking so smart now are they Ned? Sheesh! So, it’s easy to say toss the garbage out, but I just don’t see the Dodgers doing it. Uribe is immovable at this point, so we are just stuck with him. I am sure he cleared waivers with a chuckle from around the league this season. I don’t really see how we can sit Cruz at this point, the kid is just too good. Moving Hanley back to shortstop was a huge mistake in my opinion, so hopefully we move him back to third, and put Gordon back at shortstop. Yes. Gordon back as the starting shortstop. You can’t expect for him to develop in one season, you could say the Dodgers rushed him a bit, so growing pains are to be expected. Put the kid back at short and roll with the punches. You can not develop young players if they are sitting on the bench. Putting him back in the minors? We already know he can hit down there, so what good does that do? So Hanley to third, Dee to short, and start Cruz at second. That leaves Ellis, Punto, Uribe, Hairston for the bench. Yikes! Can we get a do-over? Logjam in the middle infield. Couple trades should do the trick though. Curious to think if the Dodgers will explore a Dee Gordon trade this winter?

So here is it is, the complete list of all of all of Ned Colletti’s trades. Take a look. Post your thoughts in the comments section. Do you think Ned deserves that extension the Dodgers just handed him?

Ned Colletti Transaction History: Trades

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 09/17/2012  Posted by at 10:22 am Thinking Blue No Responses »
Sep 112012

The Dodgers have activated Dee Gordon from the disabled list and recalled him back to the Dodgers roster, but not as a starter. To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Dodgers moved Adam Kennedy to the 60-day disabled list, removing him from the 40-man roster. Dee Gordon, who has been shelved with a thumb injury for about 8 weeks returns to action, but with Hanley Ramirez cemented over at shortstop, Gordon appears to be headed to a bench/pinch-runner role for the rest of the way.

Gordon, 24, has suddenly lost his starting roster spot to the hot hitting Luis Cruz. Gordon, despite having 30 stolen bases and only being caught eight times, has not provided the offense the Dodgers had hoped for. Gordon is batting an atrocious .229/.280/.282 in 327 plate appearances this season. 30 stolen bases with a .280 OBP is quite amazing if you ask me, but it’s certainly not enough to warrant a roster spot with the offense having trouble scoring runs. The Dodgers will need to practice patience as Gordon finishes up his rookie season, the guy just has too much talent.

Cruz, 28, is a career minor leaguer who has been a lightning bolt for the Dodgers this season. Cruz is batting .292/.327/.426 in 215 plate appearances. Cruz also has 4 home runs, 30 RBIs, and 15 doubles. It’s fair to say he has been the biggest surprise for the Dodgers in 2012. It’s hard to blame Mattingly for putting Gordon on the bench, because I have to admit, if it were up to me I would be doing the same exact thing.

The Dodgers also called up Stephen Fife and Elian Herrera today. Tony Gwynn Jr. will likely not be called back up to the bigs this season. Tough break for Gwynn. He’s all but out of the big picture at this point. Tough break for Gwynn. Hopefully the Dodgers can trade him to a team that will actually give the guy a chance.

 09/11/2012  Posted by at 7:34 pm Dodgers News, Transactions 1 Response »
Sep 112012

The Dodgers start a two game series with Arizona beginning Tuesday night, and while they are only 1.5 games out of the wildcard, they are 5.5 games back of San Francisco for the NL West lead. The Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez to get into the postseason, so it would be very disappointing if the Dodgers missed out on either a wildcard or divisional title.

MLB Picks and odds favor the road Dodgers in Game 1 of this series, and the pitching matchup for the first game doesn’t get much better. Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers, and Ian Kennedy for the D-backs will counter him.

Kershaw is having yet another solid season, as he has already struck out 201 batters, going 12-8 with a 2.79 ERA. He is currently dealing with a sore hip flexor, but he is set to start Tuesday. Kennedy is far from what he was last season, but he is only 12-11 this season with a 4.39 ERA. That is well above his career average of 3.85, and far from his stellar 2.88 in 2011.

Aaron Harang takes to the hill in Game 2 of this short series, and his counterpart will be Trevor Cahill. Cahill has been ok this season, with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Harang has similar stats this season, with a 3.75 ERA.

This is an extremely tough stretch for the Dodgers to end the season. Starting Tuesday, and running through the 23rd, the Dodgers have some tough opponents. After their short series against Arizona, they have four games against St. Louis, then three games at both Washington and Cincinnati. Plus, they have three games against the Giants to end the season in October, which could decide the division.

 09/11/2012  Posted by at 8:14 am Recaps From The Ravine 1 Response »
Sep 072012

As the Dodgers prepare for what is their biggest series of the season, the Dodgers called up Alex Castellanos Friday afternoon. Castellanos is a twenty-six-year-old infielder/outfielder on the brink of breaking into the bigs. Castellanos is making his third appearance in the bigs this season, hoping to finally prove he can be successful at this level. Castellanos is batting .136 (3 for 22) in his previous 12 appearances. Castellanos did on the other hand find tons of success down in triple-a Albuquerque, where he batted .328 with 17 home runs and 52 RBIs. Castellanos is widely considered one of the top position prospects in the Dodgers farm system since being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals last year for Rafael Furcal.

 09/07/2012  Posted by at 8:05 pm Dodgers News, Transactions No Responses »
Sep 072012

His mama calls him Steven, only his mama calls him Steven, we may call him “Paco.” Most analysts predicted that Rodriguez would be the first 2012 draftee to arrive in the bigs, ta-da, Rodriguez will be in the bullpen tonight as the Dodgers begin their critical series with the San Francisco Giants tonight.

“Call me Paco,” he said introducing himself. “The only time I’m called Steven is when my mom is mad at me.”

Rodriguez, 21, figures to get regular appearances due to the injuries to Scott Elbert and Ted Lilly, helping Randy Choate out as the only other healthy lefty reliever.

Rodriguez, was a bit surprised to say the least, when he heard the news.

“Yesterday I was eating with our bullpen catcher back in Chattanooga and De Jon Watson calls me and says, ‘hey I’ve got some bad news for you.’

“I said, ‘what’s going on?’ And he’s like, ‘you’re going to have to drop your food, go pack your (belongings) and come in to L.A.’ My heart just started beating fast. A great feeling. Then I just called my parents, let them know I was coming up.”

After being chosen 82nd overall by the Dodgers, Rodriguez tore up the lower minor-league levels. He had six scoreless outings for Single-A Great Lakes with a pair of saves, 10 strikeouts and zero walks. Quickly promoted to Chattanooga, Rodriguez went 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 appearances, with 22 strikeouts, six walks and three saves in 13.2 innings. Opponents batted just .149 against him.

In 21 minor league appearances spanning 19.2 innings, he had a 32-to-6 walk-to-strikeout ratio and a 0.92 ERA.

 09/07/2012  Posted by at 5:34 pm Dodgers News, Transactions No Responses »