Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers lose game but win League

Aaron Harang had a 2.60 ERA in 11 starts since May 28, but he went down hard tonight, surrendering a three-run first-inning home run to Paul Goldschmidt and a fifth-inning grand slam to Chris Johnson in the Dodgers’ 7-2 loss to Arizona.

The result allowed the Diamondbacks to creep within 3 1/2 games of Los Angeles and within four of San Francisco, which was in extra innings against the New York Mets as of this writing.

However, while dropping a game in the National League sweepstakes, the Dodgers picked up a win for those who cared about the Brandon League sweepstakes. Announced officially shortly after 10:30 p.m., Los Angeles acquired the Seattle Mariners righty reliever for minor-leaguers Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom.

League, 29, has a 3.69 career ERA and 3.63 ERA in 2012. After striking out as many as 9.2 batters per nine innings in 2009, League is down to 5.4 this season, while allowing 67 baserunners in 44 2/3 innings. He made a name for himself by saving 37 games in 2011, but that’s already a bit of ancient history. So while the Dodgers might have a little anxiety about how reliable Ronald Belisario, Javy Guerra, Josh Lindblom, Shawn Tolleson or even a recovering Matt Guerrier might be down the stretch (or about replacing any of them if they are traded), League offers another option – but not exactly offer a guaranteed solution.

The price was 2010 third-round pick Landry, a 22-year-old outfielder with a .358 on-base percentage and .559 slugging (including 26 doubles and 15 triples) in the happy-hitting California League, and Bawcom, a 23-year-old righty picked in the 17th round the same year, who has a 2.60 ERA and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings for Double-A Chattanooga.

I’m not sure either prospect wasn’t expendable in a pennant drive or expected to be a significant contributor to the Dodgers in the future, and you never know when a guy is going to have a two-month hot streak like George Sherrill in 2009, so the question I would have is less about who won tonight’s deal and more about whether Landry or Bawcom might have had a role in a potentially bigger deal for the Dodgers Tuesday or down the road.


July 30 game chat


Preparing for a Shane Victorino trade


  1. Jon wins the pun-fest of headlines that are sure to come. I approve!

    I am fine with the trade, too. Neither prospect that exciting though Bawcom is decent, could make it to the Mariners. Landry’s age vs level and numbers for a hitter’s league, plus scouting reports, all say he’s really not more than a 4th outfielder ceiling…  But I wish ’em the best. Our pen did need more depth and possibly another one of our relievers maybe on the way out by tomorrow.

  2. Anonymous

    Some reliever is getting a trip to Albuquerque tomorrow. Or Philadelphia. Or possibly Chicago. Although if someone gets traded to Chicago, can’t they just stick around until the Cubs come to town on Friday, instead of flying out to Pittsburgh and then back to L.A.?

  3. Anonymous

    Mets lead the Giants, 7-6, in the top of the 10th.  Good night.

    • Now 8-6, hee hee. Giants bullpen imploded. Of course, so did, and possibly will the Mets bullpen. Won’t count on it yet.

  4. Anonymous

    League has had trouble throwing strikes/quality strikes this year.  He looks to me like he is throwing the ball as hard this year as he did last.  His split finger fastball is not as good as it was last year.  

  5. I can only hope the Brandon League trade will be as memorable as the July 2001 acquisition of Mike Trombley for Geronimo Gil and Kris Foster.

    • Anonymous

      Geronimo Gil, the pride of Oaxaca, currently playing for the local team the Guerreros.  Once play for the Savannaha Sand Gnats, a Dodgers’ A team affiliate in 1996-97.

      • Anonymous

         That teams sounds as if it should be an SF affiliate.

        • Anonymous

          Figured I’d get a rise out of you.  Never had much of a chance to do any back-country stuff around Talca.  Heard that the Biobio is quite lovely.  At that time, they were thing of daming it and people were up in arms.  Don’t know what eventually happened.  We spent most of our time financing rehab of existing systems, including on-farm stuff.  Around were we were, asparagus was the cash crop.  In those days wine grapes were just beginning to take off.  

  6. Anonymous

    Thankfully, the Giants have their own Loney.

  7. Anonymous

    The Mets hold on to beat the Giants 8-7. Judging from Twitter, that game was an ordeal for fans of both teams.

    • Anonymous

      Bum-g had two runs and 9Ks in 6…  the Gs get 16 hits….

      Just another loss.

  8. Anonymous

    League has a WHIP of 1.5 with LHH 337/400/430 against him
    He has 4 blown save/losses, 2 other blown saves, and a straight loss when he came in to the 10th inning in a 1-1 game.
    He makes 5M

    • Anonymous

      He’s so bad against lefties, Loney even has an RBI against him!  /rimshot

  9. Rick Libott

    I agree with Bob that a reliever or two from our bullpen will be gone overnight or tomorrow. I tend to believe that will be as part of a Soriano/Dempster trade with Chicago…

  10. Anonymous

    comment by Seattle fan:
    GOOD RIDDANCE! Thank God! Seattle fans, we are saved. We’re losing more often than winning as it is, and League wasn’t very helpful when we actually did have close, late leads. Getting two players, no matter their pedigrees, for a god-awful, not-under-contract-next-year reliever is such a win for our system

  11. Anonymous

    comments from Mattingly and Colletti from tbla:
    “I’ve seen this cat in the American League, and he’s dirty. He may have had troubles with lefties this year, but he’s like (Ronald Belisario),” said manager Don Mattingly. “When he gets the ball down he gets everybody out. He’s filthy. This is a good arm.”General manager Ned Colletti agreed, and said League will likely be used in the later innings.”We’ve watched him a lot. He’s throwing 95-96 miles per hour with a good split and good slider,” Colletti said. “Any time you can add people in that segment of the game, that’s a good spot to have.”

  12. overkill94

    Not sure what happened to League’s control this year, but hopefully he can regain it in Dodger blue.  What was once a strength has seemed a little shakier lately with Lindblom and Belisario faltering a bit lately and Guerra failing to regain his 2011 form.  Seems like two C+ prospects is a bit much to give up for a pretty good reliever, but I doubt those guys would have added much value to any other trade anyway.

  13. Anonymous

    Oakland and Tampa Bay tied at 3-3 in the 14th. The A’s have struck out 20 times.

  14. Anonymous

  15. Anonymous

    Possible this was done simply to keep him out of SF’s hands?

    • Anonymous

       Probably should have wanted SF to acquire him.

      • Anonymous

        I disagree.  Even if you’re totally right about him, and hes not any better than Lindblom was, this still puts SanFran in a rough spot.  They badly need bull pen help, and League was the cheap option.  Now they have to go out and look for someone like Bettencourt or Broxton for players because they dont have the $ backing that we have, and neither of those guys will come for a couple sup-top-30 prospects.  I think Ned just put Sabian and the Giants front office in a tough place…

  16. Anonymous

    League sounds like he could be a good addition, but I think this might mean Lindlom is gone to Chicago, which is not such a good thing.

  17. Anonymous

    Two words:  Shin-Soo Choo


  18. I’m really not liking this trade too much, though it’s hard to be too upset at Colletti after the spectacular deal he made for Hanley. Still, this seems like a typical Ned trade of the Torre era, trading something that may or may not eventually have value for something that demonstrably has zero value.

    • Anonymous

      Being able to come in as middle relief and get guys out at a decent clip is demonstrably more valuable than doing that in AA.

      • Anonymous

         It’s doubtful League can do that.

        • Anonymous

           Why? He’s done that his whole career. He’s doing it this season, even as he’s struggling. And since his velocity hasn’t dropped, who knows if he’s not due for a bounce-back? If he gets his GB% up, he’ll be a decent pen option. He may not ever justify the $5 mil. salary, but then we are only paying the prorated remainder.

          • Anonymous

            The problem is that the trade for League is a prelude to an even more foolish trade I fear of Lindblom for Victorino. What is the point of trading for League unless a RHP in our current bull-pen is going to be traded? League has a WAR at B-R of -0.1, Lindblom is at +0.9. The only pitchers we have with negative WAR are Tolleson at -0.1 and Wright at -0.2. Wright is not getting traded nor is Tolleson who at any rate keeps improving. 

          • Anonymous

            I don’t mind Victorino but, having seen League, I can envision plenty of fingernail-chewing among Dodger fans.

          • Anonymous

            The rWAR difference is more about the way B-R calculates pitcher WAR than about the real difference between League and Lindblom. If you look at their FIP components, the two come out fairly even–League with more grounders, Lindblom with more Ks, similar BB%. Lindblom obviously is cheaper and has more upside, but that’s precisely why we can trade him for a LF stop-gap and not League (or players who were traded for League), so I’m okay with giving away future value for present value.

          • Anonymous

            Tiensy,(replying to below) I didn’t write my post well in mentioning Lindblom’s WAR I wasn’t saying he was better than League just giving the #. The problem is the reason for trading Lindblom-Victorino who I predict the Dodgers will extend at big money for a period so long that we will be wishing they will cut him.

  19. I’ve had a soft spot for Landry since seeing him play in college for LSU. As a pure athlete I always thought he resembled Ricky Williams. A small but strong guy who seems to get most of his speed from thick, powerful legs.

  20. Anonymous

    League is inferior to Lindblom, and has no command whatsoever. The Dotel of 2012.

    • So what? The greater need is for a decent bat. Middle relievers are a dime a dozen.

      • Anonymous

        League is likelier to give away games than LIndblom, who is much younger with greater potential.

  21. Anonymous

    Heyman and Stark are predicting a quick Victorino acquiral. Not sure how I feel about it, there are a couple of others I’d rather have… Presumably we’ll have to get rid of an outfielder. I would think that would be Abreu but knowing tricky Ned, Abreu might just go on the DL till Sept 1st…

    • Anonymous

      Stark @Espn reported TGJ may be going to Phillies as well. Or Uribe could be DFA’d and JHJ could be strictly IF backup.

  22. Anonymous

    I went to sleep early, but I was pleased to read of the Gnatpen’s performance this morning.

  23. SteelMohawk

    Rumors flying that Lindbolm is going to be used to land Victorino.  It seems that any value added by Shane, would be hard to make up for the downgrade in the pen.  Lindbolm may not be perfect this year, but he can get outs, and gets 3 more Ks per 9 than League.  Shaking my head.

    • Anonymous

      There isn’t any downgrade from Lindblom to League (of 2012). League’s xFIP is actually superior to Lindblom’s. It’s the salary and potential that makes Lindblom a much more valuable piece than League, but we are at a position where we can overlook that in order to fix the LF mess.

  24. Anonymous

    Who is JHJ?

  25. An every day outfielder that can also bat leadoff more effectively than anyone else we have (Victorino) is far more valuable than a decent middle reliever (Lindblom). Lindbloms are, relatively speaking, like Amtrak: there’s another one coming every 15 minutes.

    • Anonymous

      Trading from a position of strenth to fill a position of weakness is a main reason to have a farm system, que no?? I would still druther have Morneau for Loney and Lindblom if Twinkies would consider that.

  26. Anonymous

    Angel Pagán has apparently taken himself out of the Gnats’ lineup for at least several days by punching the dugout wall.

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