Oriole fans seem to be happy with the George Sherrill trade that happened at the trade deadline in 2009. But, how do Dodgers fans view the trade? Seth over at Dinger’s Blog wrote up his thoughts on the trade (from a Dodger fan’s point of view), and you can see my thoughts below. It’s fun to look back on the trade and realize just how much has changed since then.
Thoughts at the Time of the Trade
When the trade first happened I had mixed feelings. There were a lot of concerns about Josh Bell’s defense and whether he could hit lefties, but then again, the Orioles were a bad team and had no need for a solid closer. True Blue L.A. (a Dodgers blog), laid out 6 scenarios and how they’d feel about each one:
1. Stays at 3rd base and learns to hit LHP then we were screwed.
2. Stays at 3rd base, never learns to hit LHP, we are still screwed.
3. Moves to first base and learns to hit LHP , then we are still screwed.
4. Moves to first base, never learns to hit LHP – still bummed
5. Stays at 3rd, never hits either arm – okay
6. Moves to 1st, can’t hit either arm – okay
Obviously, they point out his two main flaws, defense and learning to hit lefties. But a lot has changed since then.
Getting Josh Bell alone in the deal would have satisfied most O’s fans, but they also threw in Steve Johnson. They didn’t seem to mind throwing him in as True Blue L.A. notes:
“Steve Johnson is Steve Johnson”
“Johnson’s ceiling is a back end rotation guy, but Josh Bell may be the guy we really regret losing in this deal.”
Josh Bell has almost fully cleared anyone’s questions about his ability on defense, and he’s going to stick at third. While his range won’t ever be great, he’s improved his footwork and his above-average arm strength will be key (think Miguel Tejada, but taller).
While Bell has answered questions about his defense, he continues to struggle hitting left handed pitchers and I believe he should just stop switch hitting. So far in 2010, Bell’s OBP against right handed pitchers is higher than his OPS against lefties. It’s clear to me that it’s time for a change. How much worse could Bell be hitting left handed against lefties? Only time will tell. Hopefully the Orioles make a decision sooner, rather than later.
While I do believe the Dodgers already regret dealing Bell, Johnson is a guy they could regret losing just as much. Currently, Johnson has 40 strikeouts in 43 innings for the Baysox, with just 18 walks. He’s showing improvements from last season and his breaking ball, to me, is starting to look like a plus pitch.
If Josh Bell can become an average third baseman at the major league level, the Orioles come out as winners of this trade. Add on the fact that Johnson is starting to look like a solid 4-5 guy in the rotation, and the Orioles look like the clear cut winners. Let’s not forget that George Sherrill was acquired in the Erik Bedard trade, which just keeps feeding us. The trade web looks something like this:
Be sure to check out Seth’s view, from a Dodgers point of view, over it his site, Dingers.