|Teams don’t try to shoot the moon when they make August trades. In most cases, an out-of-contention club will settle for a minor leaguer who projects as a role player just to rid themselves of an expensive veteran on an expiring contract. Such veterans are the most common August trade chips because so many of them clear waivers and thus qualify to be traded.
Last year, the second-division Mets traded Billy Wagner to the contending Red Sox under these circumstances, netting the other Chris Carter and a Rookie-level first baseman. Other examples from 2009 include Jim Thome (White Sox to Dodgers), Carl Pavano (Indians to Twins) and Aubrey Huff (Orioles to Tigers).
Little more than a week after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Brewers and Reds completed this year’s first significant August trade. Milwaukee sent resurgent 40-year-old center fielder Jim Edmonds to Cincinnati for outfielder Chris Dickerson, who had been pushed out of the frame by a host of younger players. Edmonds returned to baseball this season on an incentive-laden deal with the Brewers after taking a year off. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has a history with the center fielder from their days with the Cardinals from 2000 through ’07.
In the first deal struck this August, the Mariners sent 37-year-old first baseman Mike Sweeney to the Phillies for cash considerations on Aug. 4. The Phillies sought Sweeney, who was hitting .263/.327/.475 in part-time play with Seattle, to help cover for an injury-related absence by Ryan Howard.
|Chris Dickerson, of
Age: 28. Position: CF (14 G), LF (10 G), RF (4 G).
Born: April 10, 1982 in Hollywood, Calif.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 230. Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Selected by Reds in 16th round of 2003 draft; signed June 9, 2003.
Dickerson made the Reds’ Opening Day roster in his accustomed role of platoon outfielder, but an ill-timed injury led to an early exit from Cincinnati. In late April, he broke a bone in his right hand that required surgery to remove part of that bone and to repair his wrist. Dickerson returned from the 60-day disabled list in mid-July only to find a crowded outfield picture. Young outfielders Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs had established themselves, while Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix had fared well in platoon roles.
If spotted against righties, Dickerson has proven that he can produce in a supporting role. In 2008-09, he batted a cumulative .283/.383/.440 with 22 doubles, eight home runs and 16 stolen bases in 357 at-bats for the Reds. On the flip side, he sports a career .238/.338/.317 batting line in 75 career plate appearances against southpaws after starting 0-for-5 this year. Dickerson runs and defends very well, and while he has a solid batting eye, he tends to strike out in bunches when he gets pull-happy. In short, he’s suited perfectly to manning the strong side of an outfield platoon while also serving as a defensive replacement. As an added bonus, he’s four years from free agency and he still has one option remaining if the Brewers can keep him on the big league roster (or on rehab assignment) for three weeks until rosters expand.
|Jim Edmonds, cf
Age: 40. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of 1-year, $850,000 deal signed with Brewers in January.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.