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Blog Entry

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Posted on: September 1, 2009 12:43 am
Edited on: September 1, 2009 1:30 am

The Los Angeles Dodgers are going for the jugular in the NL West: Still maintaining a six-game divisional lead over Colorado and San Francisco when the evening started, the Dodgers struck late and dramatically Monday night to acquire slugger Jim Thome from the White Sox and starting pitcher Jon Garland from the Diamondbacks.

The moves not only answered, but upstaged, their closest rivals on a day that saw a flurry of moves as contenders scrambled to acquire stretch-run help before the midnight EDT post-season roster deadline:  Colorado acquired starter Jose Contreras from the White Sox and, earlier in the day, the Giants signed two-time All-Star Brad Penny, who had been waived by the Red Sox, and subsequently went unclaimed.

But on a day that got crazy in the last few minutes before the deadline, nobody was more bold than the Dodgers. In acquiring Thome, they strengthened their bench with a slugger, albeit past his prime, who has cracked 23 homers and collected 74 RBI this season.

Scouts say that Thome, 39, can no longer move well enough to be a viable option at first base, so expect manager Joe Torre to spot Thome into key, situational at-bats as a pinch hitter (and, should the Dodgers reach the World Series, they'll certainly have a veteran designated hitter ready and warmed up for games in the American League park). A full-time DH now, Thome has played only four games at first base, total, in the past four seasons.

The trade not only kept Thome away from the offense-starved Giants, who well might have blundered in passing on him on the waiver wire, but also reunites a couple of former Clevelanders from the Indians' 1990s glory days, Thome and Manny Ramirez.

Known universally throughout the game as a good teammate and good player to have in the clubhouse, maybe Thome's calm, positive and familiar nature can help Manny get back to being Manny. Ramirez, since the All-Star break, is batting just .268 and averaging a mere home run per 29.8 at-bats -- as opposed to one homer per 13.4 at-bats before the break.

The Dodgers acquired Thome for minor-league infielder Justin Fuller, and the White Sox are including cash to cover a pro-rated portion of the remainder of Thome's $13 million salary for 2009.

The Dodgers acquired Garland for a player to be named later, and the Diamondbacks, according to sources, also are including cash to cover the remainder of the pitcher's $6.25 million salary for '09, plus the $2.5 million buyout of his 2010 option. Consequently, that will improve the caliber of player to be named later Arizona receives.

While Thome is the biggest name, Garland (8-11, 4.29 ERA) fills the Dodgers' most dire need. Caught looking as Philadelphia acquired Cliff Lee at the July trade deadline (and as Toronto hung onto ace Roy Halladay), the Dodgers have lacked a veteran workhorse in a young rotation that had been ultra-dependent on Chad Billingsley. Increasingly, that has been a scary proposition: Over his past 13 starts, Billingsley (12-8) has just three wins and a 5.61 ERA.

In Garland, the Dodgers are getting a veteran with playoff experience (he was a key member of the 2005 White Sox's World Series champion rotation) and a right-hander who has worked 190 or more innings in each of the past seven seasons (he's at 167 2/32 now). He is expected to take the place of knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, his former Chicago teammate, in the rotation.

As for the Rockies, Contreras gives them another stretch-run arm -- and they can use all comers with ace Aaron Cook sidelined -- though he has been  awful in Chicago (5.42 ERA, six earned runs allowed to the Yankees on Saturday in just 3 1/3 innings).

Clearly, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is disgusted and has lost patience with his slumping club. When he acquired ace pitcher Jake Peavy from San Diego and outfielder Alex Rios from Toronto several weeks ago, they were deals both to help the Sox now and in the future. Both Peavy and Rios are signed long term -- Peavy through 2012, with a club option for 2013; Rios through 2014, with a club option for 2015.

Now, the emphasis clearly is on the future. In addition to dumping Thome and Contreras, the White Sox also shopped outfielder Jermaine Dye and set-up man Scott Linebrink earlier Monday, according to sources. Clearly, Williams' re-shaping of the Sox has begun.


Since: Aug 8, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 8:02 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Didnt the white sox are on a pennant race? they sold contreras and thome the same day, just after they loss a game vs the twins?
for the dodgers, they had to make a move, they're getting chased by the rocks and giants, they were like 14 games behind, cutted just to 5. they lost the hype, and have to play against sf and col in september
for the giants, penny was a nice pitcher back in the national league, he could help them after the 1-2 punch of lincecum and cain, zito is throwing well also. the rox, well, is september, remember 07? everything is possible in the mountains, and contreras should be a lift.
3 teams, 2 spots, great pennant race for the nl west

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 7:27 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Go for it as long as it is viable, realize when it is not and do what you can to benefit the team in the long term. Peavy and Rios are on long term contracts and fairly young. By acquiring them Kenny set the Sox up for a potential run this year as well as for the future. Thome and Contreras are both free agents at the end of this year. While Thome has been productive its nothing like what the Sox need from him(low BA, no play in NL parks, back and knee problems) and Jose has been pretty bad this year. So Kenny got a little something for them by trading them to teams that need the depth. I'll miss Thome for sure and have a great respect for the pitcher that Contreras was, especially in '05 and '06. And who knows maybe pitching in the National League West will rejuvenate him. Does that help you out tGwynn19?

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 6:35 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Torre is an idiot. He is not a winner. He has been fortunate to work with high priced primadonnas. Torre is still the same incompetent manager who led the Cardinals. Canseco...thats's funny! I think he would have made a great Red Sox...he could really hit home runs while on the juice. 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 6:13 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Ken Williams thought that getting Peavy and Rios would jumpstart his team and get them to try harder and actually win games. It did not work. So he then started to clean house. 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 5:56 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

I'd rather have Jon Garland than Brad Penny. Garland played for the Angels and they actually won a World Series in recent history. I don't think Colletti's job is on the line given that ownership is clueless. They did hire him in the first place. I am suprised that Colletti gave up some of his prospects. I know that for the past several years he was intent on having the best crop of prospects to never set foot on a major league field. Speaking of which....I don't see the Dodgers making it to the post season this year. It's the year of the Giant or the Rockie! Not sure if the Cubs will make it, but wouldn't it be great if they finally did win it all!  

Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 5:06 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

I think the Dodgers pickup of Garland will be a big help and was a good move. Pitching in Dodger Stadium will even make him better and lower his era.The Dodgers pitching needs all the help it can get right now.  They are tired or worn down. They need some of the veterans that will keep the mental aspect of the game at a high level as well. If the Giants make the playoffs and they have Linecum, Cain and Zito in a 7 game series, they are going to hard to beat. We need the bats to come alive. The signing of Thome, although the Dodgers did it to keep the Giants or Rockies from getting him. is not going to make our bats start hitting again. He is batting .249 with 116 strikeouts this season. If need be, he can always play outfield for Manny, he couldn't play any worse. Manny's glove has cost us 2  wins in the last couple of weeks.  I still think Pierre (Batting.322 with 23 Stolen Bases)  is our best options coming off the bench, (actually having Pierre in the outfield would be the best option)  Have Manny come off the bench and our defense gets a whole lot better. The team has not done better since he has been back and they were almost unstoppable when Pierre was playing. Maybe now having Thome veteran leadership, will help get rid of the laid back attitude the team seems to have as of late   But what to Heck  Go Dodgers Beat the Giants !!!!!

Since: Jun 11, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2009 4:15 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

I have no idea how this makes the dodgers better, except for garland pitching well about every 3rd or 4th outing he has. In no way have the dodgers gotten a leg up on the giants in this deal, and i'd say the garland acquisition is as good a deal as the contreras one for Colorado given that contreras has been pitching against deeper lineups so you can't really tell how he will do in colorado. Thome doesn't really do a whole lot for the dodgers. I don't remember any Philadelphia fans claiming WS or bust after they acquired Matt Stairs last year. And I do realize that comparing the careers of Stairs and Thome is ridiculous, but I am not doing that. They will be having essentially the same effect on their teams as a pinch hitter. Granted the acquisition will be worthwhile if Thome is able to deliver like Stairs did in one at-bat last year. Either way I don't see how any of these acquisitions by each NL West team brings them any closer to the Phillies or Cardinals, who have continued to show they are the teams to beat.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2009 4:01 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

I like your Dodger attitude. That's how we roll in L.A.......2009:World Series Champions or Bust!

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2009 3:15 pm

The Official LA Dodger Retirement & Nursing Home

LA has been losing people but the creative Dodgers have found a way to attract old folks to their town, by trading young prospects for geezers!
Thome admittedly can't move around enough for 1st base( the position requiring the least amount of movement) , The LA Dodger General Counsel office announced yesterday it will apply to the commissioner for Thome to have the use of a cane while in the field, and the ability to use the bullpen cart for running bases.  LA also acquired Beliard and Garner so Thome would have a Scrabble partner during the games.

Dodger Front Office Boss Frank McCourt proclaimed "Experience counts" but declined to comment whether  Tom Seaver, and Sandy Koufax have received contract offers.

When asked about the cost McCourt exclaimed  "This will save us the expense of sending out Old Timer's day  invitations and airfare "they will already be here!"

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 2:35 pm

Dodgers acquire Thome and Garland

Sorry but Thome will be out of action considering that he has played in ONLY 4 games over the past several years.  He will have to hope and pray and the Dodgers make it to the fall classic.  Garland is a workhorse if and only if he can keep the ball down.

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