Josh Fields-Yordan Alvarez Swap
The Dodgers acquired reliever Josh Fields from the Houston Astros at the 2016 trade deadline in exchange for OF Yordan Alvarez. Yes, that Yordan Alvarez. This trade is the clear-cut choice for the most regrettable under Andrew Friedman for a couple of reasons.
First of all, while Fields had a 2.79 ERA for the Dodgers in 19.1 innings in 2016, and was brought back through 2018, he only pitched 2.1 innings during the 2016 postseason. Those innings were scoreless, and his first inning of relief work (across three games) in the 2017 postseason was scoreless as well. But that was all the Dodgers got out of Fields.
In the 10th inning of Game 2 in the 2017 World Series, against his former team, the Astros, Fields faced three batters without recording an out. He gave up two solo home runs and a double, and while the Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th, Fields' struggles cost the Dodgers the opportunity to take a 2-0 series lead over the Astros.
Then of course, there's the opposite end of this trade, Yordan Alvarez. What a player Alvarez has become. With clutch moment after clutch moment, Alvarez is regarded as one of the best hitters in the league, and at certain points of the 2022 season looked capable of challenging Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani in the MVP race before some of their ridiculous months that turned the race into a two-man competition. But even before his 2022 campaign, during which he finished third in AL MVP voting, Alvarez already had impressive accomplishments. In just 87 games in 2019, Alvarez slugged 27 HR and 26 doubles with 78 RBI and a 1.067 OPS en route to being voted the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year. He also posted a 1.112 OPS in the 2019 World Series.
After injuries derailed his 2020 campaign, Alvarez had an impressive 2021 season where he had an .877 OPS as well as 33 HR and 104 RBI, and was the ideal slugging DH for the Astros. But where the talent really showed up once again was during the 2021 postseason. Alvarez was insane against Boston in the ALCS batting .522 with a homer, three doubles, a triple and six RBI (good enough for a whopping 1.408 OPS) to win ALCS MVP. Alvarez’s contributions, especially given the universal DH now in place, are only matched by a select few in all of MLB and, as a result, it’s a no-brainer that the Dodgers’ worst trade of the Friedman era is the one that gave him away to a perennial contender.