LOS ANGELES – Dodger fans have been waiting patiently for weeks, watching as opposing teams and division rivals snatch up big name free agents like a tiger furiously snatches meat. On Wednesday, the team finally made a move, albeit a miniscule one.
Dodgers: Acquire RHP Frankie Montas, 2B Micah Johnson and OF Trayce Thompson
Reds: Acquire 2B Jose Peraza, OF Scott Schebler and IF/OF Brandon Dixon
White Sox: Acquire 3B Todd Frazier
On the surface, the trade can be befuddling three Dodgers prospects sent to the Cincinnati Reds in return for three Chicago White Sox prospects sent to Los Angeles. The centerpiece of the deal was All-Star third baseman and reigning Home Run Derby Champion Frazier who was sent to the South Side.
Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman told the media via a conference call on Wednesday evening that the team could have acquired Frazier in the deal, but they believed with Justin Turner coming off knee surgery, therefore unable to move to second base that it was not worth it to send three young, talented prospects for two years of Frazier in a time share with Turner.
So, Frazier heads to the South Side, and fans in LA are going ballistic calling the 2015 offseason, "the Demise of the Dodgers." But not so fast Dodger fans. Hasty judgments get you nowhere and what Frideman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi know that the rest of us don't is that draft picks and young prospects are like gold, and the Dodgers have a bounty of it.
Most scouts and senior baseball writers believe that the Dodgers got the better end of the three-team, 10-player trade. Peraza was the most valuable prospect the Dodgers surrendered in the deal, but the plucky second baseman has no power, doesn't walk, and his only tool is speed.
The Dodgers meanwhile stockpile, young and inexpensive talent. Montas is currently ranked as the White Sox No. 3 prospect and Thompson was No. 5. Throw in Johnson who is just a slight downgrade over Peraza at second base and you now have three valuable commodities to add to the likes of Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose De Leon.
It's nice that Los Angeles is getting mildly excited over Thompson, son of Lakers legend Mychal Thompson, and brother of Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, heading to the Dodgers, but frankly, we would be surprised if he is at Camelback Ranch come next spring.
The Dodgers currently have six outfielders, a number that is certainly going to shrink before the season begins. It's also no secret that the Dodgers were trying to acquire big name starting pitchers via trades. Rumor had it, that teams like the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves wanted the moon in return for their aces Jose Fernandez and Shelby Miller, respectively.
And by "the moon", we mean the Dodgers top prospects, and now they have three more of them. Don't be surprised to see the new front office spin these new acquisitions in another trade in the future to acquire a frontline starting pitcher like Fernandez or Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics or Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians.
"Obviously, we're having a lot of conversations that involve us potentially trading some prospects in different-type scenarios," Friedman said during the conference call. "This wasn't necessarily directed at that, but it's connected in the same way every move we make has some connection. Expanding our talent base is helpful on multiple fronts."
Friedman is notorious for moves like these he famously traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins last season for Andrew Heaney and Kiké Hernandez, only to turn Heaney into every-day second baseman Howie Kendrick.
So we will continue to preach patience Dodger fans, we feel a big impact trade is on the horizon, and if it's not, we'll be the first to grab our pitchforks and join you outside the gates of Chavez Ravine.