Just when it looked Ronnie Belliard would be the biggest acquisition by the Dodgers at the waiver deadline, the Dodgers stunningly traded for both veteran slugger Jim Thome, from the White Sox, and veteran starting pitcher Jon Garland, from the Diamondbacks, who just happen to be in town for a four-game series.
To acquire Thome, the Dodgers sent Justin Fuller, a 26-year old middle infielder who was with Class A Inland Empire, per Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune. Gonzales also reports the White Sox are sending cash in the deal, although the amount is unkown. Thome has a $13 million salary, and is due $2,415,301 the remainder of the season.
As Ned Colletti mentioned on "Dodgers Live" on Prime Ticket, Thome will be a pinch-hitter, as he really can’t play first base anymore. Thome last played in the field in 2007, and has played a total of four games at first base in the past four years.
Thome, with his 564 career home runs, gives the Dodgers a power threat on the bench that they really haven’t had since Olmedo Saenz. Thome is hitting .249/.372/.493 this season, with 23 home runs, 74 RBI, and a .375 wOBA. Against righthanded pitching, Thome is hitting .261/.387/.510 this season with 18 of his 23 home runs in 315 plate appearances.
Manny Ramirez was a teammate of Thome in Cleveland from 1993-2002, and called his new teammate "awesome" and "unbelievable."
To acquire Jon Garland, the Dodgers will send Arizona a player to be named later. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reported that the player could be :
Word among some Dodgers players is that the PTBNL in Garland trade is INF Tony Abreu. He would have to clear waivers to be dealt.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic lets us know the Diamondbacks are picking up all of Garland’s salary ($1,161,202 the rest of the season), plus the buyout – either $1 million or $2.5 million, depending on whom declines -- of Garland’s mutual $10 million option in 2010.
ESPN reported that if Garland’s option is declined, the Dodgers cannot offer him salary arbitration if he is a Type A free agent this offseason. However, it doesn't look like Garland will even be a Type B free agent, so that point might be moot.
Garland is 8-11 this season with a 4.29 ERA and a 4.61 FIP, and has not struck out more than 4.8 batters per nine innings since 2003. Insert cookie cutter Ned Colletti quote here:
Jon has been a consistent winner in the big leagues for eight consecutive seasons and we’re excited about how this deepens our starting rotation. He also demonstrated a few years ago that he knows how to pitch when the stakes are high.
I look at Garland as insurance. He’s another starter to use, in case the club needs to rest Chad Billingsley and his legs for a start or two, or Clayton Kershaw and his arm for a start or two. Also, if Hiroki Kuroda is unable to return this Sunday, Garland is another arm that can fill in as needed. There’s no way in hell I would give up Tony Abreu for Garland, but I’ll reserve that outrage until the other shoe drops.
All the guesses to the playoff roster and potential September callups just got thrown out the window. It will be interesting to see just what 40-man roster moves are made to accommodate these moves, but we will find out soon enough. Rosters expand starting Tuesday.