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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Refighting The Same Battle With Edwin Jackson

BHSportsGuy defends Ned Colletti's exile of Edwin Jackson:
Now, it would be easy to say that Jackson could have filled several roles on the 2007 team: the spots taken by Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson or Rudy Seanez for starters. Of those, I would say Tomko, but given Tomko's actual 2006 performance (4.73 ERA, 95 ERA+), under what reasoning could you honestly say the Dodgers would just DFA him?

Also, if everything else had remained the same, Chad Billingsley would have filled the role most likely available to Jackson, that of being a swingman. I can’t see Jackson in a starting role like he had in Tampa Bay during the 2007 season. (And his stats in 2007 are beyond eye-opening: for example, 283 baserunners in 161 innings).

Fish in a barrel:

Brett Tomko 2007: 15 starts, 79 ERA+
Mark Hendrickson 2007: 15 starts, 88 ERA+
Edwin Jackson 2007: 32 starts, 78 ERA+

The Dodgers got only a little better from Tomko what they could have had from Jackson, only cheaper, younger, and with more upside. Add to that the fact that Jackson had to face the Yankees and Red Sox seven times in the AL East (and would have had a far easier division and league in the NL), the chances of him being at least the equal of Tomko goes up asymptotically; he might even have been better than Hendrickson.

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Comments:
I kind of feel like you've fundamentally misunderstood what BH wrote, Rob. He was not defending the trade at all. He stated from the start that he was not discussing the pros and cons of the trade.

What BH was doing was speculating what would have happened had Jackson not been traded. And realistically, BH is right. Because of Colletti's bias toward veterans, Jackson would not have gotten the rope that Hendrickson and Tomko got.

BH's essay never says Colletti was right.
 
The flaw in that analysis is the following paragraph:

He would have needed someone in the front office to support him, and that might have not been enough, since one of general manager Ned Colletti’s strengths is that he lets the field staff dictate his roster -- so if a player is not being used, Ned usually finds a way to remove him and get someone else. If Jackson was just taking up space that year, with no minor-league options remaining, I think the Dodgers might have been forced to deal him for a marginal minor leaguer.

So, wait — Jackson was dealt because Colletti's field staff thinks he's going to have a limited role? That seems awfully fishy to me, Jon. You're telling me that Grady Little, hired just over a month before Jackson's January 16, 2005 trade to the Devil Rays, decided to move him? I don't see how this happens. To me it's shifting blame for no good reason.

As a strict alternate history, it just doesn't make any sense to me either.
 
The other thing that bugs me about this piece: "might have been forced to deal him"? Forced by what or whom? He really makes it sound like Jackson's trade was an inevitability, when I don't see any reason to read it that way.
 

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