The Dodgers traded Milton Bradley to the A’s, and the Diamondbacks traded Javier Vazquez to the White Sox. A couple thoughts on each trade…
First, I like the Bradley trade. The Dodgers sent Bradley and Antonio Perez to the A’s for Andre Ethier, who was the Player of the Year in the Texas League (Double-A) last year. Ned Colletti says he took the approach I would have taken: he came in with the hope of keeping Bradley with the Dodgers, and traded him only when it became clear from every angle that it wouldn’t work. I am not afraid to say that I love Milton Bradley. Yes, he has a temper. And no, he probably didn’t handle the Jeff Kent situation as well as he could have. But he has the potential to be a great player, and he plays with passion. He wants to win, and if I am a manager, I want him on my team, regardless of the baggage that might come along with him. That said, the options were gone, and the Dodgers needed to trade him. In return for him and a guy who will never be a star, they got Ethier, who is one of the top prospects in the A’s organization.
I’ll be honest. My first reaction when I heard about the trade was, “Wait a sec, last week we might get Barry Zito for Milton Bradley, and today we got Andre Freaking Ethier?” But the part that makes me very happy is that the Dodgers gave up zero top prospects in the deal. Instead, the got rid of someone they had to get rid of, and they GOT a top prospect. Life is good.
Now, for the White Sox/D-Backs trade. The Sox sent Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino, and Chris Young to Arizona for Javier Vazquez. My thoughts on this are simple: if a team is going to give up a top prospect for a pitcher, wouldn’t it make more sense for that team to be a team that needs pitching? Chris Young is supposed to be pretty good, from what I hear, and unless the White Sox are planning on running a seven-man rotation next year, I don’t think they really NEEDED Vazquez. But as long as they are the reigning World Series Champions, I won’t argue too much with their philosophy.