Last Night the Dodgers pulled off another minor trade - bringing in some depth to the roster. Although, it is a bit curious that we brought in another outfielder when we seemingly have a logjam out there. Strike that, this is puzzling. From the Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the acquisition of outfielder Chris Heisey from Cincinnati in exchange for right-handed pitcher Matt Magill. Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman made the announcement.
Heisey (pronounced HI-zee), who will turn 30 on Dec. 14, appeared in 119 games at all three outfield positions for the Reds in 2014, his fifth Major League season. He excelled in his 47 pinch-hit appearances, batting .273 (12-for-44) and leading qualifying NL pinch-hitters with four home runs and a .659 slugging percentage.
The Pennsylvania native has a .247 career batting average in 543 games, including a .283 average and a .587 slugging percentage in 155 pinch-hit appearances. During the course of his career, Heisey, who has not committed an error since 2012, has appeared in 311 games in left field, 93 games in center field and 70 games in right field, while ranking sixth among NL outfielders (min. 300 games) with a .908 zone rating since 2010. He was originally selected by the Reds in the 17th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Messiah College in Pennsylvania.So, Heisey is a good glove outfielder with a below average bat. He does, on the other hand, appear to excel at the plate when asked to come in as a pinch-hitter - which Dodger fans should know is a skill in itself (i.e. Manny Mota, Jose Morales, Olmedo Saenz, etc.).
Still, his addition has to indicate that a subtraction in the outfield is forthcoming. Doesn't it? Why add a reserve outfielder when we have more than enough Major League guys to do that. I think this trade is setting us up for another trade meant to address the outfield situation. Who will be going? I dunno, but I look forward to seeing what they cook up.
Here's what Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi had to say in a report by Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“One thing I’ll say is, you look at the landscape of baseball as a whole, and one of the things that’s really scarce is offense — and we’re fortunate to have a surplus of really good offensive outfielders,” said Zaidi. “So obviously there’s going to be some demand and some interest in those outfielders.”Addressing what Zaidi intimates above, check out this video of Heisey talking about how he lives his life.
In the meantime, Zaidi noted that the Dodgers are trying to improve their depth in all areas, taking note of, yes, team chemistry in the process. Heisey’s skill set appealed to the new administration, but so did his approach.
“We’re not trying just to put together a collection of individuals,” Zaidi said. “We believe in putting together a team … a team that’s all pulling in the same direction.”
On a side note, I am saddened to see Matt Magill go elsewhere. Although he never was going to be a frontline starter for the team, I thought he could work out well at the back of the rotation. He had struggled recently with his control and needed to gain command on another pitch, so maybe his development is better served elsewhere. No doubt, I'll be rooting for him to succeed in his future travels.
In celebration of Heisey's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him. I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Rich Pilling/Getty Images North America) and the 1971 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are the career stats for Chris Heisey, via Baseball-Reference:
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