Loving That Dee Gordon Trade More Every Day

The day the Dodgers traded Dee GordonDan Haren and Miguel Rojas (along with more than $12 million to cover 2015 salaries) to Miami for reliever Chris Hatcher, catcher Austin Barnes, utility guy Enrique Hernandez, and starter Andrew Heaney (who quickly became second baseman Howie Kendrick), I was thrilled. No, really:

Think about what the Dodgers just did, really. In exchange for an aging and declining pitcher they didn’t want and four more years of a nearly 27-year-old second baseman who has had something like three good months in his career and slumped badly in the second half of 2014, the Dodgers picked up:

  • A veteran second baseman who is a big upgrade in Howie Kendrick, 31 (one year of control + qualifying offer)
  • A multi-positional guy who can actually hit a little in Enrique Hernandez, 23 (six years of control)
  • A fireballing reliever (avg. 96 mph in 2014) who took an enormous step forward in Chris Hatcher, 30 (five years of control)
  • A fascinating catcher/infielder whom the projections love in Austin Barnes, 25 (six years of control)

I know this wasn’t a trade that casual Dodger fans really liked, because Gordon was such a popular player, both due to his blinding speed and friendly personality, and because the names coming back really weren’t very well-known. A lot of people hated this deal. I thought it was a heist. I’d have traded Gordon for Heaney straight-up. To get back these other guys, too? Unbelievable.

Two months later, I somehow love this trade even more, if it’s possible. Here’s Peter Gammons from a few days ago:

Brim looked at how Hatcher could be a very big part of turning around the bullpen. I looked at how useful Hernandez’ versatility is going to be. Chad investigated what makes Barnes so unique. And Kendrick, as Dustin wrote about, is clearly going to be more valuable than Gordon. You could argue that Kendrick-for-Heaney wasn’t enough of a return, but then, I don’t even look at this as two separate deals. It was a three-team trade, even if it wasn’t announced as such. It’s possible the Dodgers never cared about getting Heaney in the first place, and reached out to Miami knowing that’s who the Angels wanted for Kendrick.

In the end, none of this matters until we see some on-field value. But man, did I like this trade the day it was made. Two months later, I like it even more. What a great deal for both 2015 and the future. It’s the kind of deal you didn’t see the previous front office pull off, well, ever.

About Mike Petriello

Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.