“I want to stress … we continue to believe in the importance of building a foundation through scouting and player development,” Kasten said. “We won’t be what we want to be until we build the system of players.”
“The great advantage of this ownership is, we can do both at the same time.”
Sounds a little utopian, right? Let’s take a look at the hit the Dodgers’ farm system just absorbed.
In acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Carl Crawford, Joe Blanton, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, Randy Choate and Brandon League,here’s what the Dodgers sacrificed from their system:
Rubby De La Rosa (the #90 prospect in all of baseball pre-2011, per Baseball America)
Allen Webster (#95 pre-2012)
Jerry Sands (never ranked in BA’s top 100)
Ivan De Jesus (never ranked)
Ethan Martin (never ranked)
Leon Landry (never ranked)
Logan Bawcom (never ranked)
Scott McGough (never ranked)
Ryan O’Sullivan (never ranked)
Just as important to the big picture are the three major-league players the Dodgers jettisoned — Nate Eovaldi, Josh Lindblom and James Loney. Lindblom is 25 and Eovaldi 22, so they probably have not reached their major-league potential. (Conversely, Loney’s inclusion in the 9-player trade with the Red Sox re-affirmed that his potential as a Dodger was virtually tapped out.)
But their best prospects are still here. Zach Lee is still a Dodger. So is Yasiel Puig, who wasn’t going anywhere. Chris Reed, Garrett Gould, Chris Withrow, Joc Pederson and Tim Federowicz are all among the Dodgers’ top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America. So is Alfredo Silverio, though his upside after surviving a horrific car crash in January is questionable.
So while it’s tempting to mourn the upside of De La Rosa, Webster, Sands, et. al, the bigger picture shows that the Dodgers didn’t give up much talent relative to what they gained –and what they were able to keep. Setting aside the financial risks involved, it seems like the Dodgers managed their small stable of prospects well.
And that was no small task.
“We told you when we came in that because we weren’t deep in our farm system, that might hold us back at the deadline,” Kasten said.
“As it turned out, we had some opportunities that we were able to take advantage of with our farm system, others that we weren’t deep enough. There were a lot of trades that we couldn’t do right now.”