Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired center fielder Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for right-handed pitchers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin. This acquisition is roughly only 12 hours after the Dodgers acquired reliever Brandon League from the Mariners.
Victorino becomes a free agent at the end of the season and has basically been a league-average hitter so far this year with a 101 wRC+ and his .325 wOBA is the lowest of his career. For the Dodgers, though, this is a vast improvement over their left fielders that have combined for a 71 wRC+ and .275 wOBA. On defense, Victorino should also be a major upgrade over the -5.3 UZR posted by Los Angeles left fielders. Victorino, who posts positive UZRs in center field, should be plus in left field and could be worth at least two wins to the Dodgers over the next two months.
League, who is a free agent at the end of the season, is having a slightly down year with regressed rates in K/9, BB/9, GB%, and his highest xFIP since 2007 at 4.40. But, he has had some bad luck with a BABIP nearly 50 points higher than his career mark coming into the season and none of his pitches have negative run values. But, with a very good bullpen there really was no need to trade for League unless they felt they needed to deal one of their existing arms.
The Dodgers did just that to get Victorino when they gave up Josh Lindblom who has a good ERA but poor peripherals this year. He has a 91-94 mph fastball with a deadly slider that right-handed hitters have a hard time making solid contact against. Lindblom likely has five years of control left so there is value in a good bullpen arm like his. He was my 11th ranked Dodgers prospect coming into the season. Thanks to his poor peripherals he has been worth -0.6 fWAR so the swap of League and Lindblom might even result in a positive way.
Ethan Martin, also headed to Philadelphia in the Shane Victorino trade, was my 16th ranked Dodgers prospect and is a personal favorite of mine so I may be a bit high on him but I do love the arm, especially out of the pen. He still has major control issues with a 4.65 BB/9 although his BB/9 last year was almost two walks higher than that per nine innings. He is repeating Double-A and turned 23 in early June. His stats have improved from 4.02 ERA and 4.19 FIP last year to 3.58 ERA and 3.48 FIP this year in 118 innings. His secondary stuff still needs work and he has a chance to be a mid-starter but his fastball/breaking ball combination are good enough to pitch in a Big League pen.
The players the Dodgers sent to Seattle were Logan Bawcom and Leon Landry, my 15th ranked Dodgers prospect coming into the season. The 23 year old Bawcom brings a strong record of missing bats with his current 9.35 K/9 in Double-A being the lowest mark of his professional career. He does have command and control issues but looks like a solid bullpen arm. Colleague Andrew Martin had the luxury of interviewing the strong-throwing prospect last year.
Leon Landry has loads of speed and athleticism and should have no problem staying in CF but there are some concerns about his patience and approach at the plate. He could be a solid 4th outfielder with an outside shot at a regular in CF if he improves his approach or changes his swing to add some power.
The Dodgers essentially traded their 11th, 15th, and 16th ranked prospects, in a fairly weak system, for Victorino and League and it should lead to at least a two win improvement.
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Brandon League, Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, Leon Landry, Logan Bawcom, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Prospects, Seattle Mariners, Shane Victorino, Trades