The 8 Best And 7 Worst Moves In Los Angeles Dodgers History
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most historic franchises in American sports. This team has had quite the history, bringing in Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier while dominating the ’50s and ’60s with superstar pitcher Sandy Koufax. This team has always been a joy to watch and they have an incredible history that lives on in baseball lore.
The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series championship since 1988, and a big reason for that is because they made some terrible trades and wasted money on porous contracts. On the other hand, this franchise has enjoyed plenty of success because of the big trades and free agent signings they’ve made over the years.
Like every team, the Dodgers made some great moves that changed the franchise for the better. They also made some moves that hurt the franchise for a long time. Here’s a look at the eight best and seven worst moves in L.A. Dodgers history.
15. BEST: TRADING FOR ANDRE ETHIER
Ethier is a two-time All-Star and has a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award to his name. He’s batted .285 in his career and has helped the Dodgers win the NL West every year since 2013. Though the Dodgers have yet to win the World Series, they’re as close as it gets. Ethier has been a big part of their success.
14. WORST: TRADING AWAY PAUL KONERKO
Paul Konerko played on the Dodgers for parts of the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but failed to produce much and didn’t look like he was going to become a superstar…at least in Los Angeles. He played in just 52 games over those two years and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Jeff Shaw.
Shaw was a solid closer in Los Angeles, but he was out of the majors by 2001. Meanwhile, Konerko became one of baseball’s most feared hitters — crushing 439 home runs in his career while being named to six All-Star Games. Konerko guided the Chicago White Sox to a World Series championship in 2005 — hitting 40 home runs and 100 RBI.
The Dodgers really could have terrorized opponents with a lineup that consisted of Mike Piazza, Adrian Beltre, Raul Mondesi and Konerko. But who’s checking anyway?
13. BEST: ACQUIRING TIM BELCHER
Los Angeles acquired him from the Oakland Athletics (when he was in the minors) for Rick Honeycutt. In 1988 (the Dodgers championship season), Belcher went 15-12 with a 2.91 ERA and 152 strikeouts. Belcher would spend five seasons with the Dodgers, and had an ERA under three in four of them.
The Dodgers really didn’t have to give up a whole lot to add a quality pitcher that led them to a championship. Easily one of the most overlooked moves in MLB history.
12. WORST: LETTING ADRIAN BELTRE WALK
Beltre had an incredible season in 2004, leading the majors with 48 home runs and registering 200 hits. He was second in NL MVP voting, but it wasn’t enough for the Dodgers to keep him in Los Angeles. The Seattle Mariners signed Beltre to a five-year deal worth $64 million.
Franchise third basemen don’t come around often, and if the Dodgers were willing to take on Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett’s contracts in a blockbuster trade with Boston, they could have shelled out the money to keep Beltre.
11. BEST: TRADING FOR TIM LEARY
At first glance, Tim Leary’s career was anything but memorable. He played for seven teams in a 14-year career and posted a porous 78-105 record with a 4.36 ERA. Leary’s career appeared to be going nowhere after frustrating performances with the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. Before the 1987 season, Leary and Tim Crews were shipped to the Dodgers in exchange for Greg Brock.
After a disappointing 1987 campaign, Leary broke out in 1988 with a 17-11 record, 2.91 ERA and 180 strikeouts. Leary also appeared in four games during the Dodgers’ 1988 postseason run, fanning seven batters in just 10 innings pitched.
Leary then went to the Cincinnati Reds a year later, but not before having a great season that catapulted Los Angeles to a World Series championship.