It took a lot of unraveling to understand the Los Angeles Dodgers' dealings with the Detroit Tigers when the two sides were working on an Eduardo Rodriguez trade, but a few days after the deadline, it all made a lot more sense.
Except for one thing. According to various reports, the Dodgers and Tigers had agreed to a Rodriguez trade on the Monday (July 31) as they tried to hammer out further details to get the left-hander to sign off on the deal (he had a no-trade clause and the Dodgers were on his restricted list).
How much time did the Dodgers waste here? Because a couple hours before the deadline, the Phillies swooped in, got the Tigers on the phone, and acquired right-hander Michael Lorenzen -- who we admittedly had our doubts about, but who ended up being dealt for a fair price. Did the Dodgers not even entertain this at any point in the talks when it seemed like Rodriguez wouldn't be willing to make the move?
Lorenzen, of course, has been dynamite since debuting with Philly. His first start was a win against the Miami Marlins, where he twirled eight innings of two-run ball on just six hits and a walk. His next outing?
A no-hitter against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. He walked four batters and took 124 pitches to finish the job, but he's immediately proven to be one of the top difference makers who was moved just 10 days ago.
Dodgers-Eduardo Rodriguez drama highlights big miss on Michael Lorenzen
Hindsight is 20-20. And we cautioned the Dodgers about a run at Lorenzen if the Tigers were looking to make a swap at a prohibitive cost. But all the Phillies had to part with was top-five prospect Hao-Yu Lee (who is now the Tigers' six-best prospect). Rodriguez had to have cost more than that (plus, his larger salary and potential contract guarantee beyond 2023).
But what's a top-five prospect in the Phillies' 21st-ranked farm system (and the Tigers' 25th-ranked group)? It feels like the Dodgers could've lined something up with equal value in talent without having to give up one of their top-five guys ... and even if they did, would anybody be whining right now if Michael Busch or Andy Pages were dealt? Would you be that upset if Gavin Stone and his 5.36 ERA were sold for a high-quality rental who the Dodgers would have first dibs to re-sign?
The bottom line is Lorenzen should've been a surefire backup plan as the Dodgers were deep in the weeds with the Tigers for almost two full days.
The emphasis on starting pitching, too, is paramount here. The Dodgers needed any and all help, which is why they were willing to import Lance Lynn, who was statistically the worst starter in the league at the time of his acquisition. And they took on his money while surrendering a top prospect in the deal. The decision has so far worked out for LA, but there are still a number of rotation voids that need to be addressed.
The conversation could very well shift, but the early returns on the Lorenzen-Phillies deal kind of seems like a massive Dodgers oversight.