Dodgers add another ex-All-Star reliever in unexpected roster shuffle

Adam Weinrib
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: Shane Greene #61 of the Atlanta Braves delivers the pitch in the ninth inning of an MLB game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Truist Park on July 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: Shane Greene #61 of the Atlanta Braves delivers the pitch in the ninth inning of an MLB game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Truist Park on July 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Despite the elimination of the August waiver trade deadline, the 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers have been unceasingly devoted to turning over new leaves, even after the league politely told them not to.

On Monday, the Dodgers managed to swipe reliever Evan Phillips off the Rays’ waivers, hoping their braintrust had spotted something Tampa Bay had missed.

This maneuver came a few days after LA added starter Cole Hamels on a whim (spoiler alert: that didn’t work out), after previously striking gold by rejuvenating Albert Pujols’ career.

Surely, at this point, Andrew Friedman believes he has the magic touch necessary to take a flyer on anyone, which leads us directly to Tuesday’s addition.

Mired in an unimpressive and late-starting season in Atlanta, Shane Greene found himself without a home midway through the weekend when the now-surging Braves finally chose to cut bait.

About two days later, Greene is a Dodger, and though he’s got an All-Star pedigree, there’ll be a lot of work to do upon arrival.

The Dodgers are signing reliever Shane Greene.

Let’s face facts: there isn’t much reason to be optimistic about Greene’s performance in 2021. In 19 games (17 innings), he managed to post an 8.47 ERA after starting the season in early June. His unsightly 1.824 WHIP speaks for itself, too, helping the reliever accrue a -0.5 WAR in just two months of limited action.

It’s difficult to make such a negative impact in so little time, but alas…Greene managed.

The changeup specialist does bring one intriguing element to the table, though, outside of his impressive past performance (which the Dodgers are not exactly paying for, at least). Both Phillips and Greene feature sliders that break significantly on a horizontal plane, something the rival Giants have had a tough time handling this season.

What matters is how much deception Greene can create to make that slider as effective as possible, of course, and thus far in 2021, things haven’t looked the way he’d prefer them to.

That said, it’s impossible to hate this move. We’ve encouraged the Dodgers in the past to take flyers on absolutely whoever they can to fill out the ‘pen. They’ve already scraped the bottom of their 40-man barrel, trying out nearly every eligible arm after promoting Andre Jackson over the weekend as the last line of defense (luckily, he looked great).

Following the long-term loss of Jimmy Nelson, and facing the realization that Tommy Kahnle’s Tommy John recovery may not cross its finish line by the end of the season, LA can’t be picky when it comes to available options. We’re somewhat surprised they opted for Greene over David Robertson (who inked a deal with the Rays on Monday), but the slider break might tell the story here.

Might as well try.

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