As Dee Gordon continued to be showered with awards, Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi reflected Wednesday on the trade that sent this year’s National League batting champion to the Miami Marlins.
In exchange for Gordon and starting pitcher Dan Haren, the Dodgers received utility man Enrique Hernandez, right-hander Chris Hatcher, catcher Austin Barnes and left-hander Andrew Heaney. The Dodgers flipped Heaney to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick, who is now a free agent.
“We’re obviously really happy with the guys that we got,” Zaidi said. “It was about filling the position, which we were able to do with Howie, and also creating some depth at some other spots, getting some guys that are going to part of this club for the next several years.”
Gordon won’t be a free agent for three more years. He also did more than lead the NL in hitting and stolen bases. Viewed by the Dodgers office as a defensive liability, he won a Gold Glove at second base.
“Trading away a guy is not an indictment of that player,” Zaidi said. “A lot of time it’s need for need.”
But if the Dodgers had known they had a future batting champion and Gold Glove winner on their hands, wouldn’t they have asked for a better deal? In addition to Gordon and Haren, the Dodgers sent the Marlins $12.5 million to cover their salaries.
“I would say he exceeded our expectations,” Zaidi said. “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.”
And who were these voices of reason?
“We’ll keep that behind closed doors,” Zaidi said with a smile.
On the mend
Third baseman Justin Turner said the left knee operation he underwent last month was for more than removing loose bodies.
Turner said he also had microfracture surgery on the knee, a procedure similar to the one Matt Kemp had on his left ankle at the end of the 2013 season.
While attending a charity softball game hosted by Adrian Gonzalez over the weekend, Turner explained that a piece of cartilage had torn off on the outside part of his knee. To facilitate the growth of new cartilage, Turner said, “They drill holes in it and let the blood come out and refill the area that the cartilage broke out of.”
Turner, who played a significant part of the season with a bruise on that knee, believes the cartilage injury occurred during the playoffs.
Turner will be on crutches for two to four more weeks. He is expected to start running at full strength in three months.
“I’ll be 100% well before spring training,” he said.
The Dodgers’ owners are updated regularly on the team’s manager search but they have not made any requests, Zaidi said.
The owners are expected to become more involved in the process in the next round of interviews, which would include three or four finalists.
“Our hope is that when we bring some guys back that we’ll get in front of some of our owners, just so they have some face time,” Zaidi said.
The Dodgers broadcast team next season will include Joe Davis, who has called Major League Baseball, college football and college basketball games for Fox Sports.
Davis, 27, was called “one of the most impressive broadcasting talents on the national scene” in a news release issued by the team.
Davis will call 50 road games for SportsNet LA. The remainder of the road games will be called by Charley Steiner. On days Davis works the telecast, Steiner will call the game on radio with Rick Monday.
The Dodgers are exploring the possibility of re-signing veteran second baseman Chase Utley, Zaidi acknowledged. Acquired in August from the Philadelphia Phillies, Utley played 34 games for the Dodgers, batting .202 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. … Hyun-Jin Ryu is playing long toss at 90 feet, according to his agent, Scott Boras. Ryu, who is recovering from a shoulder operation, is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
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