Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dodgers acquire Rivera from Blue Jays, for some reason

For reasons unknown and potentially confusing, the Dodgers acquired Juan Rivera and cash from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or, get this, cash considerations.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted the following:
"juan rivera and cash were sent to dodgers in trade, and cash may go back to jays as compensation. almost like a loan for la"
Some things never cease to amaze me. How does a team get money from another team in a trade just to send it back to the initial team? Such are the 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers, I suppose.

Anyway, I don't much understand this move. Marcus Thames was designated for assignment to make room for Rivera.

I've often thought Rivera would be a decent option as a left fielder and/or left-handed masher. With the Angels in 2009, Rivera put up a nice slash line of .287/.332/.478 with 25 home runs, 88 RBI and 24 doubles. Last season, he still managed 15 home runs. He's been pedestrian this season with the Jays (.243/.305/.360).

Rivera, like Thames, mashes lefties. For his career, he is a .291/.337/.501 hitter against southpaws. He's decent against righties (.270/.321/.429), but also like Thames, he can't play defense. Don't let the better-defensive-metrics-than-Thames fool you -- Rivera is pretty much Thames in the field.

Thames has been disappointing this season this season (.197/.243/.333) and hasn't played the field since June 24. His designation was coming, but acquiring such a similar player to replace him was unforeseen.

This doesn't bode well for those hoping the Dodgers will sell at the deadline. Rivera isn't going to put this team on his back and carry them -- he isn't that kind of player. But with the Dodgers riding a four-game winning streak, General Manager Ned Colletti just couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire a mediocre baseball player.

Wouldn't it be fitting if in a couple weeks the Dodgers traded Chris Withrow and Trayvon Robinson to the Blue Jays for Octavio Dotel? It seems the Dodgers could be heading down this path. I'm not usually one for rooting against my favorite team or wanting them to lose, but this is a situation where it is warranted.

The Dodgers aren't going anywhere this season. There is no debating that. Thinking otherwise is just irresponsible and illogical.

Let's hope this isn't a "gateway" trade. Let's just hope Colletti was thinking he'd need a veteran replacement for Andre Ethier when he's traded.

Yeah, right.

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