If you can’t beat them, get them to join your side. That was what the Dodgers did today in acquiring Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Philles for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Lee. It marked a busy week for the Dodgers, beginning with the July 24th acquisition of Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate and ending with the Victorino deal. Sandwiched in between those deals was a deal bringing in reliever Brandon League from Seattle to bolster the bullpen.
The Dodgers tried to bolster their pitching staff by adding in Cubs ace Ryan Dempster, but the two sides could not reach an agreement. The Dodgers were steadfast in their desire to not part with any top prospect for a two-month rental in Dempster. The Cubs wanted one of the Dodgers highly-touted pitching prospects, Zach Lee or Allen Webster, but the Dodgers would not budge. Dempster’s willingness to accept deals to the New York Yankee and Texas Rangers took away any leverage the Dodgers may have had in negotiations. And in the end, Dempster did, in fact, end up a Ranger for two minor league players.
The past weeks transactions has significantly changed the Dodgers outlook going forward. Ramirez has already shown his worth in the six games he has played, his highlight play being a two-run game-winning home-run against the San Francisco Giants last Friday. Choate provides another lefty in the bullpen and will alleviate the over-worked Scott Elbert. In Victorino, the Dodgers get a solid all-around player. He can hit for power, for speed and is sturdy with the glove. He can be effective at the top of the order or the bottom of the order. He can even be effective in the middle of the lineup, but that won’t be necessary with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Ramirez already setting up shop there.
Moves will have to be made by the Dodgers to make room for the new arrivals. Who will be the odd man out in left field? The Dodgers have gone with a three-man platoon with Juan Rivera, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston Jr., and Bobby Abreu. Rivera will likely platoon at first base with James Loney, Hairston can play any infield position, so it will likely be between Gwynn and Abreu. The Dodgers will also have to figure out what to do with third baseman Juan Uribe. Will he remain as a back-up or will the Dodgers place him on the disabled list or designate him for assignment?
Without Dempster in the fold, the Dodgers are counting on Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley and Aaron Harang to continue pitching as well as they have lately and the return of Ted Lilly, to complement ace Clayton Kershaw.
With the Dodgers and Giants neck-and-neck atop the National League West, all the wheeling and dealing should make for a fun last two months of the season. And now with Dodger ownership fulfilling their promise of spending money, the Dodgers hope to be spraying the champagne in October.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.