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.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.