Still broke Dodgers gain little in Pierre deal

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The Dodgers did the disgruntled Juan Pierre a favor by shipping him off to the White Sox and giving him a chance to play regularly, but instead of getting the overpriced pitcher they were looking for in return, the team settled for two modest prospects in right-handers John Ely and Jon Link and ate some salary.
So, now the Dodgers have opened up one more need and saved just $3 million for 2010. That there’s also $5 million of relief coming in 2011 makes it a fine big-picture move.
It’s just that Pierre was probably worth more than $3 million to the 2010 team.
Since the Dodgers have other needs and limited funds, they’ll probably stay in house in finding a replacement for Pierre. Xavier Paul and Jason Repko are both on the 40-man roster and it’s possible that both will make the team unless some minor league veterans are brought in.
The left-handed-hitting Paul missed most of last season, but he hit .328/.378/.500 in 116 at-bats for Triple-A Albuquerque when healthy. While he is a below average center fielder, he’s still playable there. Repko is better suited to being a fifth outfielder. He’s injury-prone and he strikes out a lot, but he’s a legitimate center fielder with pretty good speed, and as a right-handed hitter, he’d complement Paul.
Neither is an ideal solution, but it’d still make more sense for the Dodgers to put the $3 million towards an upgrade at second base rather than target a Randy Winn or a Scott Podsednik. That way, they’d still have the option of going to Blake DeWitt at third and Casey Blake in an outfield corner in the event of a major injury to Manny Ramirez or Andre Ethier. DeWitt currently tops the depth chart at second base, but his glove plays much better at the hot corner and the price tags for Felipe Lopez and Kelly Johnson should prove pretty reasonable.

Cardinals place Dexter Fowler on the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.

It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.

Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.