If Rubby De La Rosa Went to Tampa Bay…

March 9, 2013 at 7:58 am | Posted in Rubby de la Rosa | Leave a comment

92topps_rubbydelarosaWhat if the Dodgers had traded Rubby De La Rosa not to Boston, but to Tampa Bay? That’s the question John Tomase asked in the Boston Herald earlier this week, indicating that the Rays were strongly interested in trading for the young righty.

Last season, Friedman periodically spoke to Maddon about a right-hander coming off Tommy John surgery in the Dodgers organization. The Rays liked his stuff, believed him available, and were intrigued by his power arsenal. His name?

Rubby De La Rosa.

It’s no surprise that Tampa Bay — and, presumably, other teams — would be interested in De La Rosa, since he’s clearly a talented prospect. What’s most intriguing is thinking about what sort of dominoes such a trade might have set in motion — or prevented. We heard stories last year and over the winter that the Dodgers were sniffing around James Shields, and if that’s how a prospective deal had been built… would Zack Greinke still be a Dodger? Would the huge Boston trade have still happened, or just looked considerably different? Would Wil Myers still be a Royal? It’s obviously all speculation after the fact, but it’s fun to think about how much might have changed based on one different move.

As for the trade that did happen, I think most of us feel the same way about it as we did at the time. I don’t regret the move, because Adrian Gonzalez was a must-get both due to the total dearth of first base options and his perfect fit in Los Angeles, and while Carl Crawford is a huge risk, I’m still optimistic that merely getting out of Boston will be a great boost for him. But what didn’t seem to click at the time — and does less now — is that if the Dodgers were going to take on all that risk, including Josh Beckett, that De La Rosa & Allen Webster would have to be included. I can’t imagine the Red Sox would have decided to hang on to all that cash if, say, Matt Magill & Garrett Gould were the pitchers involved instead.

Mariners
Dodgers
CF
Gutierrez
CF
Moore
3B
Seager
2B
Ellis
DH
Morales
DH
Kemp
RF
Morse
RF
Ethier
LF
Ibanez
1B
Hairston
1B
Smoak
LF
Gwynn
2B
Ackley
C
Federowicz
C
Sucre
3B
Uribe
SS
Ryan
SS
Sellers

If Gonzalez and friends lead the Dodgers to a World Series, then the trade is a win regardless. But if this deal turns out badly, it’s not going to be because Crawford is wasted money; it’s going to be if De La Rosa & Webster, who are generating fantastic reports in camp this spring, turn out to be stars.

******

None of the four players acquired from Boston — no, not even l’il Nicky Punto, off playing for Italy in the WBC — is playing today against Seattle at Camelback Ranch, though the game will be one of the free webcasts available at Dodgers.com. Future Oriole Aaron Harang faces former Dodger Jon Garland, to be followed by Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Kevin Gregg, & Juan Abreu.

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