Dodgers trade Gordon, get Kendrick in deals
Updated: December 11, 2014, 3:51 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Friedman: ‘We Made Ourselves A Better Team’
SAN DIEGO — The Los Angeles Dodgers overhauled their infield and shook up the third day of the winter meetings with a three-team, eight-player trade with the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Angels late Wednesday night.
The Dodgers acquired All-Star second baseman Howie Kendrick from the Angels for young left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, a player they acquired hours earlier from the Marlins. The Dodgers also got infielder Enrique Hernandez, reliever Chris Hatcher and minor leaguer Austin Barnes from Miami. The Marlins received Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, pitcher Dan Haren and infielder Miguel Rojas.
The Dodgers have coveted Kendrick, 31, for several years and nearly completed a trade for him involving pitcher Zach Lee in July of 2013. The Dodgers were in the midst of a historic 42-8 run at the time and elected not to risk disrupting their roll with a trade.
“We feel like within the totality of the moves, we made ourselves a better team,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “Adding Howie Kendrick we felt like fit us really well: right-handed bat, tremendous hitter, really good defender, and then the young players we got should help us in 2015 and beyond.”
Kendrick will make $ 9.5 million next season, the final year of his deal.
The Marlins saw a chance to add Gordon, 26, an All-Star and one of the fastest players in the game whose career finally advanced when he made the switch from shortstop to second base going into last spring.
“The goal is to score runs and you have a player like Dee Gordon and you combine him with Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of our lineup and it’s a deeper lineup,” Marlins general manager Mike Hill said. “It puts pressure on the opposing team and, hopefully, will allow us to score more runs.”
Earlier in the day, the Dodgers agreed to a trade to acquire veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins, sources told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. That deal that has not yet been officially announced. Up-the-middle defense was an issue at times for the Dodgers last year with Hanley Ramirez at shortstop and Gordon at second. Rollins and Kendrick both rate highly in advanced defensive metrics.
The Marlins will receive either cash or a player to be named later, likely depending upon whether Haren elects to pitch for them. He told ESPN.com last month that he would likely retire and leave $ 10 million on the table if he is traded to a team other than the Angels. He lives with his wife and two small children in Orange County. Haren said late Wednesday he would take some time to decide whether he will agree to the trade or retire.
“I have been notified of the trade to Miami. My strong desire to remain in Southern California has been well-documented,” Haren said in a texted statement. “I will have to evaluate my options carefully before making any decisions.”
Hill said he spoke with Haren and tried to sell him on the Marlins’ rebuilding effort.
“I talked to him about the talent we’ve assembled down in Miami and how I thought he’d be a great fit for what we were trying to do,” Hill said. “In the conversation, he recognized the talent we have in South Florida and that it could potentially be a good spot for him.”
Gordon took to Twitter to thank the Dodgers faithful after he was traded.
Awesome last day in a @dodgers uniform…I look forward to this new journey and I am ready for… http://t.co/J7mORZy2HB
— Dee Gordon (@FlashGJr) December 11, 2014
Gordon is a .272 career hitter in 329 games over four seasons. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter batted .289 with two homers this year for Los Angeles.
Heaney, 23, was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Oklahoma State and had strong numbers in the minor leagues, though he was 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA for the Marlins last season in seven games.
“He has No. 2 type ceiling with All-Star potential,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said.
The Dodgers also had agreed to a four-year, $ 48 million deal to acquire free agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy, according to sources. And they might not be done with one more day left in the meetings here. They have had extensive discussions with other teams about trading one of their extra outfielders, including talks with the San Diego Padres on a deal that would involve Matt Kemp and catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Until Wednesday, the Dodgers’ new front office group had made incremental moves to improve the team’s Triple-A depth and the bullpen.
“Going to bed last night, we didn’t expect this necessarily to all come together today, but we’ve obviously had a tremendous amount of conversations with the teams and various agents,” Friedman said.