Colletti's Curious Dodgers Deals Confounding
I’m confused. The Dodgers are a franchise desperate for offense as evidenced yet again by their 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a sunny humid Sunday afternoon. So it made complete sense that they shipped out a top outfield prospect to get a defensive catcher and two pitchers.
“He’s not a top guy,” Colletti corrected. “Trayvon Robinson has a chance of having a good career. I wouldn’t call him our top guy.”
Outfielder Robinson, batting .293 with 26 home runs for Triple-A Albuquerque, was sent to the Seattle Mariners as a part of a three-team deal with the Boston Red Sox. For receiving starting pitcher Eric Bedard from the Mariners, the Boston Red Sox sent catching prospect Tim Federowicz and right-handed pitchers Stephen Fife and Juan Rodriguez to the Dodgers.
My apologies Mr. Colletti. Jerry Sands is still ahead of Robinson in the organizational depth chart. Nonetheless Colletti made it clear the gaping organizational hole at catcher was a bigger priority than the gaping organizational hole on offense.
"It's tough to find catchers and we have a good feel for Federowicz,” Colletti said. “He's a good leader, strong behind the plate and a good defensive player. He's somebody who has gotten better and better offensively.”
In other words, Federowicz’s offense is a work-in-progress hitting .277 with eight homers and 20 doubles in 90 games with Double-A Portland (ME) Sea Dogs of the Eastern League.
It must really be tough to find catchers in the Major Leagues seeing how Colletti gave away Carlos Santana to the Cleveland Indians as a part of the Casey Blake deal in 2008. Of course Russell Martin was supposed to stay in place in Los Angeles instead of gleefully accepting a deal with the New York Yankees.
Nonetheless the departure of Robinson did leave Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly surprised.
“My impression of him is that he’s a big strong guy that runs well,” Mattingly said of Robinson. “What I liked about Trayvon is that he kept getting better and better. I liked him.”
So fine. The Dodgers got a catcher. The other source of confusion was the Dodgers receiving two pitchers who project to be back-end of the rotation guys at best in the deal.
“We’ve got a lot of pitching,” Colletti told reporters on Saturday explaining his evaluation of the Dodgers’ farm system.
“You’ll never turn down good pitching, but a lot of our emphasis is on position players.”
Evidently good pitching can be expanded to mean mediocre pitching.
With all of this double-speak, it is hard to determine the direction of the Dodgers. It seems they acknowledge and want to remedy their offensive holes, but all of the actions they undertake are contrary to that goal. Perhaps Colletti is thinking two or three moves ahead of everyone and will pull off a genius move.
But here’s is a sobering thought for everyone. With both Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp eligible for free agency in 2013, what happens in the very likely possibility the Dodgers cannot re-sign them?
Federowicz might be the catcher of the future for the Dodgers, but what good will it do if the only power sources for the Dodgers jump ship?