Author: Craig Calcaterra

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers

The Angels acquire Josh Rutledge from the Rockies for Jairo Diaz


Less than an hour ago we learned that the Angels had traded Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers. So, who plays second base for the Angels? Well, here’s a possibility:

Rutledge turns 26 in April. While he has shown some flashes in short bursts — and while he really rocketed through the Rockies system — he’s never really established himself as a major league quality bat, hitting .259/.308/.403 in 947 plate appearances across three seasons. He has played more shortstop than second base, but that’s not to suggest that he’s a plus glove either, as he really can’t handle short. Obviously the Angels will, as the Rockies have done, see if he can handle second base full time.

In exchange, the Rockies got themselves a really nice reliever. Diaz had a 2.20 ERA and a 48/10 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings in Double-A last season before coming up in September and allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Angels. With his high-90s fastball and slider, he could be a long-term closer for Colorado.

The Dodgers are going to flip Andrew Heaney to the Angels for Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick

This is getting wilder and wilder. After the six-player trade between the Dodgers and Marlins which, in turn, raised questions about whether one of the players involved would retire or not, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers have decided to take the most well-known of the players they received — starting pitching prospect Andrew Heaney — and flip him to the Angels.

The return: Howie Kendrick. Which answers the question of “who’s going to play second base for the Dodgers now that Dee Gordon is gone.”

Kendrick has had an above-average bat at second base for several years now, most recently posting a line of .293/.347/.397, which amounts to an OPS+ of 115. He has averaged 142 games a year and an OPS+ of 116 over the past four years. He’s not as flashy as Dee Gordon, I suppose, but he’s a better baseball player by just about every other measure.

Which means that, in effect, the Dodgers traded Dee Gordon and spare and/or retiring parts for a way better second baseman and way better spare parts. Nice trick, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi!

Also fun here: before yesterday’s trade of Drew Butera, the Dodgers and Angels hadn’t traded in literally decades, now they’ve done two in two days.

For the Angels, they get a nice pitching prospect in Heaney. As for who plays second base for them? Well, I have no freakin’ idea.

Dodgers send Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas to Miami for Andrew Heaney and three others

Dee Gordon

UPDATE: The Dodgers have now flipped Heaney to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. The full writeup is here.

10:32 PM:’s Joe Frisaro says shortstop Miguel Rojas is also headed to Miami. And the Marlins will receive compensation if Dan Haren (who’s owed $10 million in 2015) decides to retire. Haren has said that he won’t pitch for a team from outside Los Angeles due to family reasons.

7:25 PM: The deal is done, and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that it’s Dee Gordon and Dan Haren from the Dodgers to the Marlins in exchange for Andrew Heaney, Kiké Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Chris Hatcher.


Now, yes, Dan Haren may follow through on his promise to retire, and if he does and the Marlins don’t get him to eat some innings, you have to figure some contingency is built in requiring the Dodgers to send more back Miami’s way. But we do know Gordon is going to Miami.

To the Dodgers: Heaney, who is a strong pitching prospect. Kiké Hernandez, a 23 year-old who played every position except catcher and first base last season between Houston and Miami and posted a 107 OPS+ in the process. Barnes, a catcher who played at high-A and Double-A last season and who has hit everywhere he’s played. And finally Chris Hatcher, who is at least a serviceable reliever.

Obviously there may be more involved here if Haren retires, but even if he doesn’t or even, in the event he does, the Dodgers send more, this seems like a deal strongly in the Dodgers favor.

6:50 PM: This is crazy. Andy Martino is saying the deal is done and that Dan Haren is being thrown in the deal with Dee Gordon in exchange for Andrew Heaney. Which is kind of nuts because Dan Haren is on record saying that he’ll retire if he can’t play in Los Angeles.

Is this the Dodgers hoping that Haren follows through and his salary comes off their books? What if he calls their bluff, though, and Miami is stuck with him? That makes what is already a questionable trade — a pretty spiffy pitching prospect for a guy who probably just had his career year — into an awful one, as the Fish would get an overpriced and probably malcontented pitcher staying active on a grudge.

I feel like there is more to come with this one, folks.

6:31 PM: This is interesting:

Gordon is coming off an All-Star year in which he stole 64 bases and hit 12 triples and had an OPS+ that was league average. Which, for him anyway, was perhaps a bit more than can reasonably be expected going forward . The Dodgers are likely thinking that anyway, and are perhaps selling high.

And the return is not a bad one: Heaney struggled in seven major league appearances, but he’s not yet 24, was rated the #29 overall prospect by and #30 by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus entering the 2014 season.

If you thought Scott Boras could shovel bullcrap before, get a load of this . . .

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 4.05.19 PM

Scott Boras just made his annual tour of the lobby here at the Winter Meetings. It’s all rather silly, of course. He’s the biggest agent in the game and dozens of reporters crowd around him and hang on his every word. So you’d think that, at some point, he’d just hold an actual press conference where everyone could hear him and people could ask questions in an orderly fashion.

That doesn’t happen, of course. Probably because Major League Baseball doesn’t want to give him some sort of official imprimatur. Probably because he rather likes people crowding around him like he’s a rock star. So, every year, we get Scott Boras strutting around the place, the scrum in hot pursuit.

But maybe the silliest stuff about it is not the overall vibe, but the actual things he says. Things like this, which he said about an hour ago:

That’s not quite to the level of his infamous Oliver Perez/Sandy Koufax comp, but it’s up there.