Thursday, July 30, 2015

Welcome to the Blue - Wood, Johnson, Peraza, Avilan and Arroyo! The Trades are Done!

It's done!  It is finally done!

As it turns out, it isn't a 3-way deal after all.  The Dodgers first put together a trade with the Marlins featuring Mat Matos and Michael Morse.  Go here to see my post from yesterday on that one; including some fantasy Baseball cards celebrating the transaction.  The three Dodger prospects going to Miami are Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham and Kevin Guzman.

The Braves trade (and the purpose of this post) includes eight players changing teams - five of them to Los Angeles.  Per the Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, right-handed reliever Jim Johnson, left-handed reliever Luis Avilan, minor league infielder Jose Peraza, right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo and cash considerations from Atlanta in exchange for infielder Hector Olivera, left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez and minor league right-handed pitcher Zach Bird.
So, the rumored 2016 draft slot bandied about yesterday plays no part in either the Marlins or Braves trade.  (Apparently, the above is incorrect, or so I've read.  The Dodger press releases made no mention of a 2015 draft pick, and in fact they sent out two separate press releases for the trades - one dealing with Miami and another dealing with Atlanta.  But everyone seems to still be reporting that Atlanta did get Miami's draft pick, so I guess I'll just accept that?)  For some detailed analysis on both trades check out the links below:
Overall, I like what the Dodger front office has done.  They basically traded some lower level prospects including a better than decent Zach Bird, an oft-injured lefty reliever in Paco and a 30-year old Cuban prospect in Olivera (highly touted, mind you, but old) for two starting pitchers who will slot in nicely into our rotation, a nice infield prospect, two relievers and a couple of high dollar'd has-been's.  Basically, we took in a bunch of unwanted contracts to solidify the rotation and bullpen.  Heck, we even got a prospect and a potential right-handed off-the-bench power bat in Morse (he was valuable for the Giants last year).  Although, it does appear likely that Morse and/or Arroyo will be released.

A negative is seeing Paco Rodriguez leave the franchise.  I really liked that kid.  It's also disappointing that we won't have a chance to see that Hector Olivera can do for us.  Nevertheless, we got a whole bunch for very little.  That's assuming you consider the Dodgers spending wads of cash no big deal.

As for not getting a top-line starter like Price or Hamels... Well, I'm a bit disappointed, but not angry.  We probably could've gotten Hamels (considering what they got), but Price ended up being way too expensive.  Detroit made out like a bandit in their trade with Toronto. 

In celebration of the Dodgers adding these five new players (some of whom may never actually wear Dodger Blue) I made the below fantasy Baseball cards in honor.  Check them out below.  I've also included some information about each of them, as well.

Alex Wood is probably the crown jewel of the trade for the Dodgers.  He was basically the staff ace for a bad Braves team, and will fit in nicely in the middle of our rotation.

From the Dodger press release:
Wood, 24, has gone 21-20 with a 3.10 ERA in 86 games (55 starts) in three big league seasons with the Braves, including a 7-6 mark with a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts this year. Since making his big league debut in 2013, Wood ranks among the NL leaders (min. 350.0 IP) in ERA (9th) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.12, 15th), while posting a 47.7 groundball percentage and forcing an average of 1.03 groundball double plays per 9.0 innings (4th). The North Carolina native was selected in the second round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Georgia and quickly ascended to the Majors, while posting a 9-5 record with a 1.68 ERA in 26 minor league starts over three seasons.
Below are Woods's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

Adding Jim Johnson to the bullpen can only be a good thing.  He's a right-handed reliever with plenty of experience and past success.

From the Dodger press release:
Johnson, 32, has gone 2-3 with nine saves and a 2.25 ERA in 49 games with Atlanta this year in his 10th big league season. The 2012 All-Star and Rolaids Relief Man Award winner has a 25-31 career record with 133 saves and a 3.45 ERA with the Orioles (2006-13), Athletics (2014), Tigers (2014) and Braves (2015). He was one of the American League’s top closers in 2012-13, topping the American League in saves in consecutive seasons and posting back-to-back 50-save seasons with the Orioles. He was originally selected by Baltimore in the fifth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft out of Union-Endicott (NY) High School.
Below are Johnson's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

Luis Avilan is a lefty reliever.

From the Dodger press release:
Avilan, 26, has a 12-5 record with a 2.77 ERA in 218 career games in four big league seasons with Atlanta from 2012-15, limiting opponents to a .225 batting average and posting a 1.16 WHIP. He has appeared in a team-high 50 games this year, going 2-4 with a 3.58 ERA, while limiting opponents to a .245 average. Avilan was signed by the Braves as a free agent in 2005 out of Venezuela.
Below are Avilan's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

Peraza is probably the best prospect that changed hands (not including the Cuban Hector Olivera).  He's fast and is basically a new version of a young Dee Gordon.  Per Chris Mitchell at FanGraphs:
Peraza excels in the speed and contact departments, but provides very little when it comes hitting for power and drawing walks.
From the Dodger press release:
Peraza, 21, has a .303 career batting average with 203 steals, eight home runs and 178 RBI in 439 games over seven seasons in the Braves’ minor league system, including a .294 mark with 26 stolen bases, three homers and 37 RBI in 96 games this year with Triple-A Gwinnett. Entering the 2015 season, he was rated by Baseball America as the No. 54 overall prospect in baseball after earning selections as a Atlanta organization All-Star in 2013-14 and to the MLB All-Star Futures Game in 2014, when he ranked third among all minor leaguers with 60 steals. He was originally signed by the Braves in 2010 as a free agent out of Venezuela.
Below are Peraza's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

Not only has Arroyo not ever worn a Braves uniform (he came to them this past June in a salary-dump trade with the Diamondbacks), but he is unlikely to ever wear Dodger Blue either.  Bronson Arroyo is currently on the DL, and has a $4.5Mil buyout on his contract for next season. 

From the Dodger press release:
Arroyo, 38, last pitched on June 15, 2014 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on July 15, 2014. The 2006 All-Star has gone 145-131 with a 4.19 ERA in 405 games (369 starts) in 15 Major League seasons with the Pirates (2000-02), Red Sox (2003-05), Reds (2006-13) and D-backs (2014).
Below are Arroyo's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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Angels Series Starts Tomorrow - Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts Friday evening against the Anaheim Angels.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

Friday, July 31st at 7:10 PM
SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Friday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM. It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game to watch the spectacle. The theme will be 80's music.  Go here for information about future firework themes.

Actor Shemar Moore will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Dodger alumnus Lee Lacy will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • The Military Heroes of the Game are U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Rodriguez of Los Angeles and U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Joseph Henneman of Toledo, Ohio.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Friday include a Zack Greinke autographed photo, Howie Kendrick autographed baseball and Joc Pederson autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 8:45 p.m.

Saturday, August 1st at 1:05 PM
 SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Saturday's game starts at 4:05 PM.  Auto gates open at 10:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 11:10 PM.  The first 5,000 ticketed kids 5-years old or younger will receive a Dodgers sippy cup.  Check it out on the left.

Actor Frank Grillo will throw the ceremonial first pitch. DJ Adam will provide entertainment in the right-field pavilion plaza, DJ Anthony Valdez will provide music in the left-field reserve plaza and a classic rock band will play in the right-field reserve plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Dodger alumnus Billy Ashley will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • The Military Heroes of the Game are U.S. Army National Guard Warrant Officer Kyle Brantner of Camarillo and U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Brian Huff of Los Angeles.

Sunday, August 2nd at 1:10 PM
 SNLA/AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Sunday's game starts at 1:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 10:40 AM, and stadium gates open at 11:10 AM.  The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Dodgers cap.  See it on the left.

Viva Los Dodgers will be at the historic 76 station at Dodger Stadium starting at 11:10 a.m.  Dodger alumnus and broadcaster Manny Mota will sign autographs for fans from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided with BB Bronx and Sinverguenza. 

Caroline Wozniacki, professional tennis player, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Cruel Intentions the musical singers will perform the national anthem.

Dodger alumnus Mickey Hatcher will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • The Military Heroes of the Game are U.S. Army E-7 Nicholas Cottrill and U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Pastor McGill.
  • The first-ever Dodger Wives Mystery Bag fundraising event benefiting the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF), will take place when stadium gates open at 11:10 a.m. For a $40 cash donation, fans will get to pick a mystery bag containing an autographed baseball from one of more than 20 Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Several Dodger wives along with LADF staff will be working the sales booths located at the left-field plaza, right-field plaza and the club level by the Vin Scully press box. There are more than 1,400 mystery bags available with baseballs featuring signatures from Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Kik√© Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Davey Lopes and Steve Yeager, just to name a few.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Sunday include an Adrian Gonzalez autographed photo, Yasiel Puig autographed baseball and Clayton Kershaw autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 2:45 p.m.

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2015 Panini Cooperstown - The Dodger Base Cards

Panini Baseball card sets are more confusing than a trade with the Dodgers.

Their newest offering, called 2015 Cooperstown, features a 100-card base set filled with nothing but Hall of Famers.  What makes the set confusing is the makeup of the base cards in the set.  Each player has three different base cards available (variations, if you will) and they are all numbered the same, but are considered a part of a different set.

There is the normal base set, a set called "HOF Chronicles," and a third set titled, "HOF Induction."  As for which card belongs to which set... I haven't a clue.  Although, it's easy to guess which ones are likely the "Induction" card based on the photo used on some of them.  Go here for a complete checklist.

As you can see, there seven Dodger players in the set.  You can check out all three of the different variations to the base set below; with exception of a third Lasorda card which I have yet to see. 

#25 Don Drysdale

Blog Kiosk: 7/30/2015 - Dodger Links - Newcombe, Gilliam and Joc Pederson

Don Newcombe is looking good.  A couple of weeks ago he fell ill at Dodger Stadium and had to go to hospital.  Now, he's doing well enough to visit the boys at the stadium.  Above, he is featured with old friend Fernando Valenzuela, via a pic by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.

Below are some links to check out:
"I stopped playing soccer video games," Puig said. "I've found that when I play baseball video games, I do better."
(pic via @backupslider on twitter)
Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Sounds will unveil a name change for First Tennessee Park's address on Tuesday, from 401 Jackson Street to 19 Junior Gilliam Way.
  • Via Gemma Kaneko at Cut4, "Joc Pederson shares cereal power rankings, is miffed Taylor Swift didn't invite him to her concert."
"I'm just kind of jealous she put on that good of a concert and didn't invite us," he said, referring to the show she played at Nationals Park just before the Dodgers came to town. You know, the show Max Scherzer blamed for causing the power to go out in the stadium on July 17. "If she's gonna blow the lights out, she should invite us," said Pederson. 
Dodger pitcher Mike Bolsinger agrees that fans are more aggressive.

“It’s crazy now, they’re not hesitant to just scream out and ask for the autograph,” Bolsinger said with a laugh. “They yell ‘gimme the ball,’ and I'm just like, ‘wow, I guess.’”

Still, Bolsinger takes time before each game and even signed during a rain delay on day he was pitching in Washington, D.C., recently.

“It’s pretty fun to meet and talk to people from every city we go to,” he said.
  • Via John Baker at Just a Bit Outside, "Edwin Jackson: Consummate professional, teammate, friend."  I always like this kid.
  • Panini America shares a whole bunch of pics from Day 1 from the National Sports Card Collectors Convention in Chicago here.
  • This is hilarious... And disgusting... And wrong... But, it's mostly hilarious!  Via Sky 105 at The Sky Post, "Golf club is desperately trying to find culprit who has been pooing in holes for last 10 years."
‘We know it is a man because the poos are too massive to be from a woman,’ he explained.
  • Fox reporter Andrew Carter briefly interviews Dodger prospect Julio Urias; with the help of Jose DeLeon in the video below:

Video Link:

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