Saturday, November 17th, 2018 am30 9:25am

Dodgers' Yu turn all but ensures long-awaited October glory

Advertise Here $4.99/day

Instant Activation ─ Claim offer
HTML Code here

Advertise Here $4.99/day

Instant Activation ─ Claim offer
HTML Code here
Skip in Skip
x

Embed

x

Share

CLOSE

Keep tabs on all the biggest trades in baseball as the MLB trade deadline approaches. USA TODAY Sports

163 CONNECTTWEET 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

The Los Angeles Dodgers, tired of division titles and bored by regular-season dominance, did something really zany Monday on the final day of baseball’s trade deadline.

They went all-in in the pursuit of a World Series.

Really.

The Dodgers, having spent years hoarding prospects as if every one of them would turn out to be the next Sandy Koufax or Duke Snider, swallowed hard and traded a half-dozen of them away.

MORE MLB COVERAGE:

It should work out quite well, considering the kids they traded away wouldn’t have been old enough to drink anyway when the Dodgers pop the bubbly after winning this year’s World Series.

The Dodgers, at 74-31, are the best team in baseball and on pace for 114 wins. They could close 26-31 and still win 100 games for the first time in 43 years.

Sorry, but a fifth consecutive National League West title wouldn’t be good enough. Not for this magical team. Not for a team that has 31 comeback victories and nine walk-off wins.

So Dodgers President Andrew Friedman decided to trigger his own walk-off, acquiring Texas Rangers four-time All-Star Yu Darvish at the non-waiver trade deadline buzzer, an hour after already grabbing left-handed relievers Tony Watson from Pittsburgh and Tony Cingrani from Cincinnati.

Yes, just in case you wondered, L.A. is all in, baby.

“I think it will definitely be an emotional boost for the team,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call. “It’s hard to say they need it.”

It came at a cost, with the Dodgers trading away three of their prospects in outfielder Willie Calhoun, ranked fourth-best, pitcher A.J. Alexy (17), and infielder Brendon Davis (29). They also traded away three more prospects and outfielder Scott Van Slyke in their Watson and Cingrani deals.

Still, they hung onto the gems of their system, right-hander Walker Buehler and outfielder Alex Verdugo, didn’t trade a single player off their 25-man roster, and can now go ahead and line up their playoff rotation.

They have such a collection of riches, you wonder who can actually stop them from winning their first World Series since 1988.

Sure, no one’s saying that Darvish is Orel Hershiser, not in a season in which he’s gone just 6-9 with a career-worst 4.01 ERA, giving up 10 earned runs in his last start. Still, this is a big-time ace who realizes that performing well down the stretch, and bringing a World Series to L.A., can add a few more zeroes to his next contract when he becomes a free agent in November.

The Dodgers can now line up three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, who can rest with ease until October, Darvish, Alex Wood (12-1, 2.38 ERA), and whoever happens to be feeling the best that day for the fourth start. Gone are the days the Dodgers have to use Kershaw, who’s on the DL with lower back pain, three times in nine days as he did during the 2013 and 2016 playoffs.

Why, considering the depth in their bullpen now, there may be no reason for a starter to worry about pitching longer than six innings, with All-Star closer Kenley Jansen able to take care of the final two innings himself.

While the Dodgers were the overwhelming winner of the day in the NL, the New York Yankees re-captured that Evil Empire magic in the American League, leaving Fox Sports executives dreaming of a World Series ratings bonanza.

The Yankees grabbed Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray, which already comes on the heels of already acquiring closer David Robertson, reliever Tommy Kahnle, and third baseman Todd Frazier. Oh, and to make their gift bag even bigger, the Boston Red Sox traded for New York Mets closer Addison Reed, but stopped. And the only position player the Red Sox added to their struggling offense this month was utility infielder Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants.

“I don’t really think we were close to doing anything else,’’ Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski told Boston reporters. “We didn’t feel there were any impact bats to make us better.’’

Indeed, strangely enough, the only major-league position player dealt Monday was infielder Adam Rosales, who was sent from the A’s to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The only thing more bizarre was the Houston Astros’ inactivity. They went into the trade deadline badly wanting a starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever. They instead chose a hybrid. They acquired struggling starter Francisco Liriano of the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-5, 5.88 ERA, and announced he would pitch in the bullpen.

And, oh yeah, while the Astros were trying to explain the Liriano move, they announced that No. 2 starter Lance McCullers is returning to the disabled list with back discomfort. It’s the same injury that send him on the DL in June, only returning to yield a 7.45 ERA in six starts.

The Astros, at 68-36, decided to steal a page out of the Dodgers’ old playbook.

They stood pat, refusing to trade their prospects.

“We have a good team,’’ Astros veteran Carlos Beltran said. “We’re in first place. At the end of the day, the GM is the one that dictates the move they have to make.

“Any acquisition is just a plus.’’

Yet, as the Dodgers players can tell you, if you don’t make that big move, that pendulum can make an ugly turn the other direction.

We’ll know in the next few months how these moves influence the playoffs. We’ll know in years whether the prospects traded will have an impact in the major leagues.

We also just may know just what it feels for baseball to be played at Chavez Ravine in late October, resurrecting Dodger glory of yesteryear, when they celebrated actual pennants and World Series championships, and not playoff berths.

It’s about time.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter and Facebook

Gallery: MLB trade deadline tracker

2017 MLB trade deadline tracker

Posted!

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

July 31: The Dodgers acquired RHP Yu Darvish from the

July 31: The Dodgers acquired RHP Yu Darvish from the Rangers for minor league 2B Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy and INF Brendon Davis.  Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Diamondbacks acquired RHP David Hernandez

July 31: The Diamondbacks acquired RHP David Hernandez from the Angles for minor league LHP Luis Madero.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Orioles acquired INF Tim Beckham from

July 31: The Orioles acquired INF Tim Beckham from the Rays for minor league RHP Tobias Myers.  Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Astros acquired LHP Francisco Liriano

July 31: The Astros acquired LHP Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays for outfielders Norichika Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez.  Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Dodgers acquired LHP Tony Cingrani from

July 31: The Dodgers acquired LHP Tony Cingrani from the Reds for OF Scott Van Slyke and a minor league C Hendrik Clementina.  Kenny Karst, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Pirates acquired RHP Joaquin Benoit from

July 31: The Pirates acquired RHP Joaquin Benoit from the Phillies for for minor league RHP Seth McGarry.  Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Dodgers acquired LHP Tony Watson from

July 31: The Dodgers acquired LHP Tony Watson from the Pirates for minor league INF Oneil Cruz ad RHP Angel German.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Nationals acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler

July 31: The Nationals acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler from the Twins for minor league LHP Tyler Watson.  Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Indians acquired RHP Joe Smith from the

July 31: The Indians acquired RHP Joe Smith from the Blue Jays for minor league LHP Thomas Pannone and INF Samar Taylor.  Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Yankees acquired Sonny Gray from the Athletics

July 31: The Yankees acquired Sonny Gray from the Athletics for minor league outfielder Dustin Fowler, shortstop Jorge Mateo and right-handed pitcher James Kaprelian.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Brewers acquired reliever Jeremy Jeffress

July 31: The Brewers acquired reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Rangers for minor league RHP Tayler Scott.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Diamondbacks acquired INF Adam Rosales

July 31: The Diamondbacks acquired INF Adam Rosales from the Athletics for minor league RHP Jeferson Mejia.  Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports
July 31: The Red Sox acquired reliever Addison Reed

July 31: The Red Sox acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Mets for minor leaguers Stephen Nogosek, Jamie Callahan and Gerson Bautista.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
July 30: The Cubs acquired Tigers relief pitcher Justin

July 30: The Cubs acquired Tigers relief pitcher Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila for prospects Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
July 30: The Rockies acquired C Jonathan Lucroy from

July 30: The Rockies acquired C Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers for a PTBNL.  Jim Cowsert, USA TODAY Sports
July 30: The Royals acquired OF Melky Cabrera from

July 30: The Royals acquired OF Melky Cabrera from the White Sox for pitching prospects A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.  Peter Aiken, USA TODAY Sports
July 30: The Yankees acquired starter Jaime Garcia

July 30: The Yankees acquired starter Jaime Garcia from the Twins for pitching prospects Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns  Neville E. Guard, USA TODAY Sports
July 28: The Orioles acquired Jeremy Hellickson from

July 28: The Orioles acquired Jeremy Hellickson from the Phillies for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim and Double-A pitcher Garrett Cleavinger.  Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports
July 28: The Mets acquired relief pitcher A.J. Ramos

July 28: The Mets acquired relief pitcher A.J. Ramos from the Marlins for prospects Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes.  Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
July 28: The Nationals acquired Howie Kendrick from

July 28: The Nationals acquired Howie Kendrick from the Phillies for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills.  John Geliebter, USA TODAY Sports
July 28: The Rays acquired reliever Steve Cishek from

July 28: The Rays acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Mariners for RHP Erasmo Ramirez.  Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
July 27: The Rays acquired 1B Lucas Duda from the Rays

July 27: The Rays acquired 1B Lucas Duda from the Rays for minor league RHP Drew Smith.  Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports
July 27: The Rays acquired reliever Dan Jennings from

July 27: The Rays acquired reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox for minor league 1B Casey Gillaspie.  Matt Marton, USA TODAY Sports
July 26: The Rockies acquired relief pitcher Pat Neshek

July 26: The Rockies acquired relief pitcher Pat Neshek from the Phillies ifor minor league SS Jose Gomez and RHPs Alejandro Requena and J.D. Hammer.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
July 26: The Brewers acquired RHP Anthony Swarzak from

July 26: The Brewers acquired RHP Anthony Swarzak from the White Sox for minor league infielder/outfielder Ryan Cordell.  Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
July 25: The Red Sox acquired INF Eduardo Nunez from

July 25: The Red Sox acquired INF Eduardo Nunez from the Giants for minor-league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
July 24: The Royals acquired RHP Trevor Cahill and

July 24: The Royals acquired RHP Trevor Cahill and relievers Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter from the Padres for left-handers Matt Strahm and Travis Wood and minor league infielder Esteury Ruiz.  Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports
July 24: The Twins acquired LHP Jaime Garcia and minor

July 24: The Twins acquired LHP Jaime Garcia and minor league catcher Anthony Recker from the Braves for minor league RHP Huascar Ynoa.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
July 22: The Rays acquired reliever Sergio Romo and

July 22: The Rays acquired reliever Sergio Romo and cash from the Rays for a player to be named later.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
July 21: The Cardinals acquired minor league OF Tyler

July 21: The Cardinals acquired minor league OF Tyler O’Neill from the Mariners for LHP Marco Gonzales.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
July 20: The Mariners acquired reliever David Phelps

July 20: The Mariners acquired reliever David Phelps from the Marlins for minor leaguers Brayan Hernandez, Pablo Lopez, Brandon Miller and Lukas Schiraldi.  Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports
July 18: The Yankees acquired 3B Todd Frazier and relievers

July 18: The Yankees acquired 3B Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle (not pictured) from the White Sox for outfield prospect Blake Rutherford, veteran reliever Tyler Clippard, minor-league pitcher Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.  Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports
July 18: The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder J.D.

July 18: The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers for three prospects — prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports
July 16: The Nationals acquired relievers Sean Doolittle

July 16: The Nationals acquired relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Athletics for RHP Blake Treinen and two minor-leaguers.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
July 12: The Cubs acquired LHP Jose Quintana from the

July 12: The Cubs acquired LHP Jose Quintana from the White Sox for minor league OF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, 2B Bryant Flete and 1B Matt Rose.  Mike Dinovo, USA TODAY Sports

163 CONNECTTWEET 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
0

Related posts