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Dodgers Get Older, Give Up On Navarro

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The Dodgers announced yesterday that they were trading starter Jae Seo and former starting catcher Dioner Navarro to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for catcher Toby Hall and starter Mark Hendrickson. Hall, who had been Tampa Bay's starting catcher, will become a reserve behind Russ Martin, and Hendrickson will join a beleaguered Dodgers rotation.

Apparently the Dodgers have other moves in store, as Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said "In my mind, we're not finished yet." With more moves like this one, the team might be undone by the end of the season.

The problem with this trade is that it gives up a young, good-hitting catcher with poor defensive skills and a troubled, but again, young starter for a 32-year-old pitcher who's been well below league average in every season he's had the opportunity to pitch enough innings to prove it, and a catcher on the wrong side of 30. Navarro is only 22; there are guys who just got drafted who are that age. Hendrickson's 3.81 ERA amounts to the Devil Rays selling high with a quantity unlikely ever to be able to keep such performances up. As one commenter put it, a "perfect storm" of good things is happening to Hendrickson on the mound, and it's almost certain he'll regress to his usual craptacularity before long.In short, there's no real justification for this deal. It's possible, that as a DePodesta guy, Dioner Navarro's stock had slipped under Colletti, but it does look very much like a replay of the earlier trade of Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany for Danys Baez and Lance Carter: sure, Jackson and Tiffany aren't exactly tearing it up in AAA, but this is what you have AAA for. These guys were cheap, young, and had plenty of time to prove themselves after recent stumbles. Meantime, the Dodgers have relegated Proven Closer Baez to a mopup role, while Carter careens through AAA.

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These aren't the kinds of moves that smart organizations make. "Not every trade you make is going to work out," said Colletti, and this trade has every indication of proving him right.