I’m sure there are a fair amount of Dodger fans out there crying that the Angels landed Mark Teixeira and the Dodgers didn’t. I personally am not one of them. The problem here is the quality of the players the Braves wanted from us was far superior to the quality of players they wanted from the Angels. If the Dodgers had offered James Loney, the Braves wouldn’t have been able to accept the offer quick enough. But who on Earth would exchange years and years of discounted, Loney-like production for a 2 month rental of Teixeira? Resigning him is not a sure thing and even if you do, it will cost upwards of $100 million. Sure, Tex will make a difference for the Angels in the playoffs but had the Dodgers traded for him, there still wouldn’t be a guarantee that we’d even make the playoffs. I’ve said this a thousand times and I’ll say it yet again… the Dodgers should NOT trade any of the cornerstones of their franchise for a rental player. If we’re going to trade a James Loney or an Andre Ethier, it better be for someone who will be here for the long haul.
To give you an idea of how badly these rental deals can blow up in your face… take a look at what the Braves gave up to get Tex in the first place… 5 prospects. They rented him for a little longer than 2 months of course, but absolutely gutted their system to bring him into ATL. Power hitting catcher/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who’d probably be a better long-term option at 1B than Kotchman), top SS prospect Elvis Andrus, top pitching prospect Neftali Feliz and mid-level pitching prospect Matt Harrison and Beau Jones were all dealt for Teixeira when the Braves originally made the deal for him. All they got back in the end… Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek. Now many Braves fans are questioning whether or not they would’ve been better off taking the draft picks they would’ve received for him during free agency.
I can assure you that this is exactly what would happen to the Dodgers. We’d deal Loney, Kemp and Ethier for a guy like this (Boras client, of course) who refuses to resign with the team and ends up hurting us much more than he helps us. That’s why the Dodgers should only explore deals for players who are already locked in to multi-year contracts. For example, shortstop Michael Young of the Rangers would be the perfect trade target. He’s an all-star, we need a shortstop, the Rangers are going nowhere and he’s locked up for 5 years, meaning that we’d actually get to keep him if we traded for him… what a novel concept!