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2017 Los Angeles Dodgers


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Good article on how the small moves for "just a guy" made big differences.


"When the Dodgers made the Nick Punto trade, Justin Turner was a 27-year-old fringe player on the Mets. He’d stumbled his way into 117 games of replacement-level baseball the year before, and he was just a guy the year after. He was always going to be just a guy. Every team has a Justin Turner. That’s the whole point of the “replacement” in the “wins above replacement.” 

When the Dodgers made the Nick Punto trade, Chris Taylor was a fifth-round pick of the Mariners, just about to start his pro career. Then he was just a guy, for years and years, a prospect-ish prospect, but nothing that would crack a Baseball America Top 300 list. The Dodgers traded away a former first-rounder to get him, but it’s not like his former team missed him that much. 

Taylor and Turner are the face of the pennant-winning Dodgers. The hair, clothes, and nice car of the pennant-winning Dodgers are the money, but we’re talking about the face. These are players that any team could have had — the Pirates, Rays, A’s, Padres, whatever — but the Dodgers got them. They scoured the AutoTrader ads. They hired the right mechanics. And then they went right back to the AutoTrader ads looking for more. 

It’s not just Turner and Taylor. Brandon Morrow was drafted ahead of both Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer, and Clayton Kershaw, and he was available for a handshake, a non-guaranteed contract, and a chance to make the team. Tony Cingrani was an enigmatic mess for most of his Reds career, but the Dodgers traded for him, whispered in his ear, and now he’s the pitcher the Reds were hoping he’d be all along. They got Josh Fields in a trade with the freaking Astros, who really, really, really could have used a Josh Fields or two over the last week. The Dodgers don’t really need him, ha ha, but he’s there if they do!"



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