While Alex Wood‘s signing made sense for the team’s starting depth, it did have an immediate cost in a 40-man roster crunch, and a few days ago the casualty of that was reliever Casey Sadler. After he was designated, the Dodgers found a home for him in a trade with the Cubs for infielder Clayton Daniel.
Sadler came over from the Rays in July to help shore up a leaky Dodgers pen, and he did exactly that for the most part. He provided 27 innings of 2.33 ERA, striking out 20 and walking just eight. While he didn’t end up making the playoff roster, he certainly did his job more often than not.
Sadler was effective enough that I made worshiping him into a bit of an inside joke due to his performance compared to the rest of the pen for a stretch.
Realistically though, this was an understandable decision. Despite the results, he carried a 4.35 FIP and 4.96 DRA with the Dodgers, and is 4.19 and 5.01 in those numbers for his career. Sadler’s track record is that of a fungible middle relief arm, and a team with the ambitions of the Dodgers understandably think they can do better.
In terms of the return, at least it seems like Daniel has bat-to-ball skills at least. A 31st-round selection in 2018, Daniel has a .290/.367/.379/.746 line in his two seasons, striking out just 53 times against 52 walks in 501 plate appearances. The positional versatility also matches with what the Dodgers are looking for, as he’s played second, short, and third in his brief career.
Still, he primarily appears to be organizational depth with utility player dreams. Whenever a deal like this is made, people mention Chris Taylor and others the Dodgers have turned around, but also worth remembering that CT3 had a .315/.401/.459/.860 line in the minors and was already in the bigs by 23. Daniel will be 25 early next season. He’s made it to as high as AA and seems likely to start the season there in 2020, or at least get there at some point.
Sucks to see Casey go, but it was always likely to happen at some point this off-season, and quite frankly it was surprising it didn’t happen sooner. In the end, not much in this trade that should impact the Dodgers one way or another.