Halloween is upon us once again, but as a fan of the Dodgers, I find these front-office decisions more haunting than the boogeyman.
Halloween is here yet again and like any team, the Dodgers have made plenty of scary moves in their club history. Here are seven scary moves made by the Dodgers’ front office:
Dodgers trade Dave Roberts for Henri Stanley
Yes, you read that right. At the 2004 trade deadline, the Dodgers sent current manager and former leadoff man to the Boston Red Sox for minor league outfielder Henri Stanley. Roberts went on to steal the most important base in Red Sox history, setting up a tremendous comeback in the ALDS which eventually led to Boston’s first World Series title since 1918.
The Red Sox ended up trading Roberts to San Diego that offseason, where he had a career year in 2006. The Dodgers, however, did not get the same return out of Stanley. The former Clemson product, who was already 26 at the time of the trade, never made it to the majors.
The Dodgers were also competitive in ‘04, winning 93 games and the division, which makes trading a useful piece for a former prospect puzzling, to say the least.
Yordan Alvarez traded for Josh Fields
Desperate for bullpen help, the Dodgers acquired reliever Josh Fields from the Astros in exchange for first base/outfield prospect Yordan Alvarez at the 2016 trade deadline. Fields was actually an effective reliever when healthy in LA, posting a 2.61 ERA in 117.1 innings over three seasons.
However, he had some trouble staying on the field and gave up a big two-run homer in the 2017 World Series. Even if Fields had stayed healthy, the Dodgers would still be kicking themselves for giving up Alvarez.
After absolutely mashing minor league pitching, he earned a call up in June and set the Astros rookie record for homers (27) and posted a 1.067 OPS. Alvarez is a lock to win AL Rookie of the Year and will be tormenting American League pitching and Dodger fans alike for years to come.
Signing Jason Schmidt for 3 Years, $47 Million
Most fans who remember Jason Schmidt know him for his dominance in the early 2000s with the rival San Francisco Giants. Between 2001 and 2006 he made three All-Star appearances and had two top-5 Cy Young Award finishes.
The Dodgers inked him to a three year, $47 million deal, hoping to bolster the rotation. Unfortunately, Schmidt’s shoulder began to give out and he only managed 43.1 innings over ten starts while posting an ERA over six. Not what the Dodgers had in mind.
Extending Matt Kemp for 8 Years $160 Million
Matt Kemp was the best player in baseball in 2011. After a few solid years, he put it all together by hitting .324, leading the league in RBI, finishing one homer away from a 40-40 season, and bringing home both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award.
The Dodgers gave him a huge extension that offseason, thinking he would be their franchise player for the next decade. That didn’t happen. Kemp, who had previously been known for his durability, began to deteriorate physically. Though he put up solid numbers in 2012, Kemp was limited to 106 games.
The following season he only played 73, and hit a meager 6 home runs and drove in only 33 runs. He rebounded with a solid 2014, but hamstring, foot, and ankle injuries rendered him a shell of his former self, and he was traded to San Diego in the offseason.
Kemp was reacquired by the Dodgers in 2018, and was actually named an All-Star starter after a big first half and even homered off Chris Sale in the World Series, but was very limited in the field and on the basepaths. The Dodgers didn’t resign him for 2019 and he is currently a free agent. Needless to say, Kemp’s career path wasn’t what the Dodgers envisioned after his breakout year.
Signing Andruw Jones for Two Years $36.2 Million
Yeah, this one was rough. Jones was a star in Atlanta, hitting 368 homers, winning ten Gold Gloves, and being named to 5 All-Star games over 12 seasons. The Braves didn’t bring him back after the 2007 season, after hitting just .222 and setting a career-high in strikeouts. Jones was clearly past his prime in 07, but was still a useful contributor, taking home a Gold Glove and hitting 26 home runs.
His 2008 season was, let’s just say, considerably worse. After signing a two year $36.2 deal, Jones showed up to spring training 20 pounds overweight. He then proceeded to have one of, if not the worst offensive seasons of all time. Injuries and lack of productivity limited the Curacao native to just 75 games, where he hit .158 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI. No that wasn’t a typo.
The Dodgers and Jones parted ways that offseason (shocker) and he managed to scrape out a few semi-productive seasons in the American League. Even though this deal looked bad at the time, even pundits who were against the signing didn’t expect it to backfire this tremendously.
Trading Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw
Tommy Lasorda’s tenure as Dodger’s general manager was brief, but he still managed to make an appearance on this list. Early in the 1998 season, Lasorda traded 1994 first rounder Paul Konerko and left-hander Dennys Reyes to the Reds in exchange for All-Star closer Jeff Shaw.
Konerko had underwhelmed in two call ups, despite being named Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year twice, and Lasorda thought it was time to move on. Konerko only lasted 26 games in Cincinnati before being shipped to the White Sox.
Of course, Paul Konerko became the player we all know in Chicago, playing 16 seasons with the South Siders, hitting 432 homers, and winning a World Series title in 2005. Jeff Shaw served as the Dodger closer until his retirement in 2004, and Reyes was a serviceable reliever for 9 different teams over 14 seasons.
More from LA Dodgers All-Time Lists
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- Dodgers: Ranking the Top 5 left fielders in franchise history
Though they were both solid contributors, Konerko ended up becoming one of the best players in White Sox history, and one of the Dodgers’ (and Reds’) biggest regrets.
Pedro Martinez Traded for Delino Deshields
Ok, we all knew this one was coming, and it is the move that continues to haunt. Following the 1993 season, the Dodgers traded then setup man Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expos for second baseman Delino DeShields (father of Delino Jr.). This seemed like a perfectly reasonable move at the time.
The Dodgers were in need of a second baseman and already had Pedro’s older brother Ramon, who was considered to be more talented, on the roster. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, this trade couldn’t have really gone worse. Although DeShields was still a big-time stolen base threat for the Dodgers (114 steals in three years), his hitting had taken a step back from where it had been in Montreal.
But even if DeShields had maintained his form in LA, the Dodgers would not have won this trade. Not by a longshot. Pedro Martinez went on to become one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Eight All-Star appearances, three Cy Young awards, Pitcher’s Triple Crown in 1999, and the highest adjusted ERA+ of all time. The thought of giving up that kind of talent strikes more fear into me than Jack Nicholson hacking through my bathroom door.