Will the Dee Gordon trade haunt Dodgers’ new front-office brass?
Hard to believe, but Dee Gordon hasn’t won anything today. Hey, there are hours still to go though.
Gordon has emerged as the great fail in the first year of the Dodgers’ new front office. He probably won’t go down as their Pedro Martinez move, but he figures to generate continued snickers from those less than enamored with the Dodgers’ Young Turks.
Yet if you are really into numbers, you may need a calculator to keep track of the honors and awards Gordon has been hauling in. Thus far, for the 2015 season, he has been the National League batting champion and stolen base leader, and has led the league in hits, won a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove and probably a few others that slipped past me.
Also, he’s 27 years old and can’t become a free agent until 2019.
Meanwhile, you may have heard the Dodgers are short on speed and a second baseman, and want to get younger. Hmmm, wonder if they’d like to have a do-over on that trade?
That’s not to say the trade was some kind of bomb from their side, just that one season in, it’s looking particularly uneven.
The Dodgers sent Gordon, right-hander Dan Haren and infielder Miguel Rojas to the Marlins for utility man Enrique Hernandez, reliever Chris Hatcher, minor league catcher Austin Barnes and left-hander Andrew Heaney. And they picked up the $10-million salary for Haren and the $2.5-million one for Gordon.
But wait, there’s more...
They immediately flipped Heaney, sending him to the Angels for one year of Howie Kendrick.
Kendrick played well for the Dodgers, but is now a free agent. Heaney, meanwhile, was called up by the Angels in June and went 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 18 starts. He’s 24 years old. And, oh yeah, the Dodgers currently have two holes in their rotation.
The killer, of course, is the rise of Gordon. He’s young and fast and cheap. And production-wise, still on the rise.
“I would say he exceeded our expectations,” Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi said last week. “I think he exceeded everybody’s expectations. That’s a testament to him and his work ethic and his ability to improve. There were definitely people in our organization that felt like he had shown that ability to improve.”
Just not with loud enough voices, or at least loud enough to be heard over the new voices that had taken control.
It can’t be a great shock that Gordon won a batting title, not with his speed. In his first full season in the majors the previous season, he hit .289. All while learning a new position at second base. He was clearly athletic and improving defensively at second, though in truth no one was forecasting a Gold Glove for him in 2015.
No one, however, questioned his willingness to work and desire to improve, and now here he is, a bright, young star for Don Mattingly in Miami.
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