The Dodgers recieved Shane Victorino, on Tuesday, from the Philadelphia Phillies for Josh Lindblom and 23-year-old Minor League pitcher Ethan Martin.
After the Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez, there were widespread reports that the Dodgers had great interest in obtaining Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs. Tuesday was the non-waiver trade deadline, but baseball teams can still acquire players to compete in the playoffs until August 31.
Dempster ended up going to the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers wanted to bolster their starting rotation, but their starting rotation is still the second-best in baseball. The Dodgers have a month to acquire another starter, but there aren't many quality starters available. The Dodgers should forget about improving their starting rotation since it will probably carry the team to the playoffs and beyond.
The Dodgers also acquired reliever Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners. The acquisition enabled the Dodgers to trade Lindblom. Although Lindblom proved his value to the team this season, his first year in the Major Leagues, the young reliever was sought by teams who were selling off their expensive talent to get what they will need to compete next year. The Dodgers will miss Lindblom, but trading him enabled them to get exactly what they needed for the playoffs.
The acquisition of Victorino gives the Dodgers one of the best defensive outfields in the game. Although Victorino usually plays center field, he will play left for the Dodgers. The three-time Gold Glove Award winner gives the Dodgers more range in the outfield. If Don Mattingly feels he needs to rest Matt Kemp, he can move Victorino to center without losing any defense. The increased range in the outfield should help the pitching staff allow fewer hits and runs.
Since Victorino has played in five consecutive playoffs and won a World Series championship, he will be a leader. Victorino brings confidence and an intensity that the Dodgers have lacked in recent years. Dodger fans have witnessed Victorino's competitive spirit. When his team was down Victorino began many rallies that allowed his team to win games. His never-say-die attitude will help the Dodgers.
Acquiring Ramirez and Victorino make the Dodgers more athletic. Victorino is a five-tool player. His speed will allow him to help the Dodgers create scoring opportunities. While Dee Gordon heals from a torn tendon in his thumb, Victorino will hit leadoff and will give the Dodgers a genuine stolen base threat. Even after Gordon returns to the lineup, Victorino will probably still bat leadoff.
This season, even though it's lower than usual, Victorino has a decent on-base percentage. If Victorino reaches base regularly, the Dodgers will have more scoring opportunities. The Dodgers' shortcoming has been their offensive production. Acquiring Victorino will strengthen the offense.
Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1999, Victorino will spend the last two months with the Dodgers before he becomes a free agent for the first time. If he does well, the Dodgers should sign the Hawaiian native to a long-term contract. Victorino plays an exciting form of baseball and will probably fit well in the Los Angeles community. Victorino should become a fan favorite quickly.
Sarah D. Morris can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.