As of today, the Dodgers go into Spring Training with seven relief pitchers already on the active roster: Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Joe Beimel, Mark Hendrickson, Brett Tomko, and Elmer Dessens. They also have three pitchers in the minors that are close to contributing at the major league level: Jonathan Meloan, Greg Miller, and Mark Alexander. Plus, Yhency Brazoban is due back at some point.
If any of those three players are going to be called up, Dessens looks like the odd man out. Saito, Broxton and Kuo are useful, Ned Colletti just actively reacquired Beimel and Hendrickson, and Tomko makes too much money. That leaves Dessens. Since Dessens is so unlikely to make it to October, why not trade him. He's a serviceable middle reliever, we all know how over valued those are, and even better, he's free. The Royals are paying Dessens' salary in 2007. Any team that has a dreadful bullpen can add Dessens at no real cost. If the Dodgers lose Dessens, then either one of the products of the farm takes his spot in the bullpen, drop down to a six-man bullpen, or fill his spot in the bullpen with an equivalent player like D.J. Houlton. No risk, and a small reward to go with it.
Dessens is near worthless to the Dodgers, but he'd be a good fit on several other teams, so why not take what you can get. Sure, that would only be a C prospect or a reserve better than Jason Repko or Ramon Martinez. Hey, every little bit helps.
In other news:
Jayson Werth is now a Phillie after agreeing to a one year 850,000 dollar contract. Werth will be under the Phillies control until 2009. Assuming Werth didn't turn down more in his negotiations with the Dodgers (not likely since several teams were vying for his services), Ned dropped a player with Werth's potential over at most 450 thousand dollars. He'll probably start his career in Philadelphia platooning with Shane Victorino who has no platoon split, but is pretty lousy from both sides of the plate.
The Giants do exactly what you would expect them to do.