The FAZ-bashing had already started after the Trade Deadline came and went, and all the Dodgers had done was acquire two left-handed relievers, who at first blush, looked like they might be qualified to be batting practice pitchers. On the MLB channel the bashing had started: “If not now, when?” Then, it was announced that the Dodgers had acquired Yu Darvish, and the FAZ-Bashers crawled back into their holes.
Here’s what we know:
- The Dodgers traded outfielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrick Clementia to the Reds for lefty Tony Cingrani. Cingrani has not been good since his rookie year in 2013 when he went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. There are lots of reasons why this may have happened, but he has a live arm – he can dial it up to 96-98 MPH at times, but he needs another pitch. He’s under team control until after 2020, so he is a project… who could pay off sooner… or later.
- Next, the Dodgers traded RHP Angel German and infielder Oneil Cruz for Tony Watson. Watson has been a lock-down left-hander in the past but has been less than stellar this year. He has been asked to close at times the past two years and I think that’s not his forte. In 2014 and 2015, he was s set-up guy who had ERA’s under 2.00 both years. The Dodgers gave up nothing valuable for him. Maybe Honeycutt can fix him, but if not, oh well.
- Next, the Dodgers traded Willie Calhoun (their #4 prospect), along with A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis to the Rangers for Yu Darvish. Alexy and Davis could become solid players, but FAZ dealt from their surplus. The Rangers asked for Buehler, then Alvarez… and Verdugo, but Friedman stared them down and did not blink! I was not a fan of Darvish, but I am happy with what the Dodgers traded, and Darvish should slot nicely between Kershaw and Wood, or Hill. Look for McCarthy to go on waivers next week… and there might be takers! Darvish should prove to be a good two month – I mean, three month – rental.
Overall, Andrew Friedman stayed true to his roots and did not overpay. He dealt from depth and gave up the following Dodger Prospects: #4, #17, #21 and #27. They could all be very good players, but the key is: none will be missed as the depth is incredible. He gave up just one of out Top 15 Prospects and while they are just “prospects,” a stockpile of prospects always yields a little more than a small pile.
Wipe the slate clean on Cingrani and Watson. They are starting anew in LA with Rick “The Master” Honeycutt! I would bet he will turn one of them around… maybe both. It’s not an accident that the Dodgers ERA is the best in baseball… by quite a margin. Here’s what should not be lost on any of us: Last year, the Cubs had to get a closer – they did not have one. This year, they had to get another starter – and starters are still a problem for them. The Dodgers, with the best record in baseball and the most depth did not HAVE to do anything. They could have won without doing a thing. But they just got even better.
Boxout beat me to the punch, but this tells you all you need to know about Cingrani (From Reds Reporter):
For Cingrani and the Reds, it’s a somewhat bittersweet separation after what began as a lightning bolt of a career beginning. As a starter back in 2013, Cingrani held the single best K/9 of any National League pitcher who threw at least 100 innings that season, ranking 2nd in all of baseball in that category behind only Yu Darvish. However, high pitch counts, the inability to throw anything other than a fastball, and persistent shoulder injuries derailed his early success, and by 2015 his days as a starter were completely over.
Freeman and O’Brien are being designated as we speak and SVS is gone. Paredes will like go back to OKC to make room on the roster. I see no way that Darvish re-signs with LA – he’s a hired gun and that’s OK – Do him like the Cubs did Chapman – pitch him until his arm falls off (JK). I will continue to follow the prospects we gave up and I especially wish Willie Calhoun success! If I were them, I would call him up right about now.
Here’s the Dodgers’ Press Release on Darvish:
DODGERS ACQUIRE YU DARVISH FROM RANGERS
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish from the Rangers in exchange for minor leaguers Willie Calhoun, Brandon Davis and AJ Alexy.
Darvish, who turns 31 on Aug. 16, has gone 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA in 122 career starts in five big league seasons with the Rangers from 2012-17, earning All-Star selections in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Since making his MLB debut in 2012, Darvish leads the American League in opponents’ batting average (.218) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.04), while ranking among the league’s best in ERA (7th), strikeouts (960, 7th) and WHIP (1.18, 10th).
The 2017 All-Star has gone 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts this year, while limiting opponents to a .225 batting average with a 1.17 WHIP and averaging better than a strikeout per inning with 148 Ks against just 45 walks in 137.0 innings. Darvish has pitched well on the road with a 2.49 ERA (18 ER/65.0 IP) in 10 starts and received the third-fewest run support of any American League pitcher (3.42 RSA).
Darvish was originally signed by the Rangers on Jan. 18, 2012 following seven seasons pitching in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Calhoun, 22, was rated by MLB.com as the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect and batted .298 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI in 99 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this year en route to the Pacific Coast League All-Star selection. The infielder batted .283 with 61 homers and 203 RBI in 304 games in three minor league seasons in the Dodger organization after being selected in the fourth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Davis, 20, combined to hit .241 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 94 games with Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this year. The shortstop has a .243 career batting average with 15 homers and 109 RBI in 233 games over three minor league seasons after being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Lakewood High School.
Alexy, 19, is 2-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts with Single-A Great Lakes this year and has a 3-6 career record with a 3.81 ERA in 26 career games (22 starts) in two minor league seasons in the Dodger organization. The right-handed pitcher was originally selected in the 11th round of the 2016 draft.
To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated infielder/outfielder Mike Freeman for assignment. Freeman appeared in four games with the Dodgers this year, going 0-for-5, after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners on May 26, 2017.
OK, I’m gonna chill: