Stay The Course
The media whines as Paul DePodesta makes his first bold moves as GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers traded away fan favorite Paul Lo Duca, superlative set-up man Guillermo Mota, and, in an addition-by-subtraction, the contract of OF Juan Encarnacion. Let's have an LAist moment of silence for Lo Duca.
In return, L.A. gets First Baseman Hee Seop Choi and Pitcher Brad Penny, two young and promising impact players. DePo also picked up veteran OF Steve Finley, who is on pace to finish the year with 36 home runs. He traded away Dave Roberts, wisely deciding to hang on to Jayson Werth.
In my opinion, the roster improves significantly. Hee Seop Choi is a guy with a dynamite future. He's young, and his .388 on-base percentage is higher than anyone on the team. Finley, Werth, Green, and Bradley will make for a powerful lineup when combined with this year's models of Cesar Izturis and Adrian Beltre. We trade Brad Penny for Guillermo Mota, getting a top-notch starter for a top-notch reliever - a clear win. One can say that we get "older" by trading for Finley, but the core players that are added in this deal - Choi and Penny - are 26 and 25 respectively.
Furthermore, this makes the player payroll significantly less expensive for next year. We can use that money to pick up a big name player or to re-sign Adrian Beltre.
Eric Gagne says, "I trust Paul." Predictably overdramatic Times columnist Bill Plaschke says: "You are wading through rubble that, only 48 hours ago, was a special baseball team." Advantage: Gagne by a mile.