3 players the Los Angeles Dodgers gave up on too soon
By Eric Treuden
Pedro Martínez put together a Hall of Fame career after leaving the Dodgers.
This one is perhaps the toughest pill to swallow for Dodgers fans. Everyone who is a fan of baseball knows the name Pedro Martínez, and many seem to forget that he actually began his storied career as a member of the Dodgers.
After making 67 appearances (predominantly as a reliever) for the club, Martínez was flipped to the Montreal Expos, where he became one of the best players in Montreal's franchise history. He recently was on a Toronto Blue Jays broadcast and mentioned to the announcers, "The Dodgers did not believe in me. They did not believe my body frame was enough to get it done in the big leagues."
Oh, how wrong they were.
After establishing himself as an Expos legend, Martínez went to the Boston Red Sox and got even better. From 1997 to 2003, he had one of the best seven-year stretches of any player in MLB history. In 201 appearances, he had a combined 2.20 ERA and 213 ERA+, meaning he was statistically 113 percent above league-average in that time. He also won three Cy Young Awards in four years and even finished as high as second-place in AL MVP voting in 1999.
To make matters even worse, Delino DeShields, the outfielder acquired in the initial trade from the Dodgers, did not amount to anything for Los Angeles during a three-year tenure. In 370 games, he had a combined 79 OPS+ and was barely above-average on defense either.