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No MLB franchise has a perfect record when it comes to trades, but the Los Angeles Dodgers would probably like to have this one back.
If nothing else, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been extremely aggressive under the watch of Andrew Friedman, their President of Baseball Operations. That’s been particularly true when it comes to the trade market.
Just this past season at the deadline as LA tried to make a run at back-to-back World Series wins, the club traded for arguably the biggest names on the market as they landed Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in blockbuster deals.
However, MLB trades are not an exact science, meaning that even the best-laid plans when it comes to striking deals can backfire. Sometimes, that means immediately blowing up in the team’s face and not working out. Other times, it’s more of a slow burn to get to that point.
Under Friedman, the Dodgers have obviously had success. However, if there is one trade he could take back — with shouts to Yu Darvish and Rich Hill as well — it would have to be the one he struck back in 2016 with the Houston Astros.
Dodgers trading Yordan Alvarez to Astros for Josh Fields looks awful
The trade in question came about the day after the deadline as Los Angeles looked to bolster their bullpen for the postseason. Thus, they traded for 30-year-old reliever Josh Fields in exchange for then-19-year-old Cuban prospect Yordan Alvarez, who had yet to play in the minor leagues yet.
Admittedly, Fields pitched relatively well for a brief time with the Dodgers, performing well in the 2016 postseason and also helping them to make the World Series in 2017 after getting sent to Triple-A earlier in the year. But in 2018, when he didn’t make the postseason roster, that ultimately spelled what was about to come.
Fields was DFA’d after 2019 spring training and hasn’t played in the majors since. And that is in stark contrast to the trajectory of Alvarez.
Despite not having played in the minors at the time of the trade, Alvarez quickly rose up the farm system in Houston, making his MLB debut in 2019 and promptly winning AL Rookie of the Year. He hasn’t stopped producing since then, hitting .290 with 61 home runs and 186 RBIs in the majors at just 24 years old still.
Oh yeah, he also just captured the 2021 ALCS MVP honors as he helped the Astros make it back to the World Series.
Seeing contenders trade prospects in the pursuit of a playoff run isn’t anything new, obviously. However, that doesn’t make it sting any less that the loaded Dodgers roster could’ve also had Yordan Alvarez just now entering his prime as a part of it if they hadn’t gone after a reliever that didn’t last three full seasons in LA.