Ned Colletti has shuffled the deck chairs yet again, acquiring yet another bad middle infielder, Marlon Anderson, in exchange for GCL pitcher Jhonny Nunez. If you're questioning how worthwhile this trade is, consider the two biggest effects it has: the Nationals no longer lead the league in guys named Marlon, and the Dodgers will be well prepared if Jeff Kent, Julio Lugo, Ramon Martinez, Delwyn Young and Oscar Robles get hurt.
First, let's look at what we lost. Jhonny Nunez was probably the GCL Dodgers second best pitcher this season. He struck out a batter an inning, had almost a three to one K/BB ratio, and didn't give up a home run in 57 innings, leading to a team leading 1.58 ERA. Sounds great, but there is a down side: Nunez is already 20 years old, which is downright ancient when he's facing kids fresh out of high school. Nunez almost certainly won't reach the bigs, but he's not completely hopeless.
As for Anderson, it's hard to tell what he does. He doesn't hit for average (.264 this year, .267 career), doesn't walk (.058 patience this year, .047 career), plays bad defense (93 career rate2), and while he has more power than Ramon Martinez, he's having a career year in that department but he still only has an isolated power of .152. As Jon points out at Dodger Thoughts, Anderson's primary asset seems to be that he's left handed. He has a .799 OPS against righties this year, but this is probably a sample size issue, since this only spans 164 at bats. In his career, Anderson has a .706 OPS against righties.
If we are acquiring Anderson entirely for his left-handedness don't we have a farm system for that sort of thing? James Loney is already up, but Oscar Robles or Delwyn Young are just as likely to do as well as Anderson in the 20 or so at bats he'll receive this season. The Dodgers already can't give any at bats to Ramon Martinez or Olmedo Saenz (just 15 this month) so why would a player that would be the second best lefty off the bench get any more time?
For some reason, Jim Bowden signed Anderson to a two-year contract, so we get the Marlon Anderson experience not just this year, but in 2007 as well at the reduced cost of $525,000. Expect several posts, starting around April 20th, 2007, wondering why we haven't DFAd the guy yet. Since it's looking less and less likely that Delwyn Young will ever start for the Dodgers, why not just stash him on the bench for the next few years? He put up an .852 OPS against righties this year, so he would at the very least be equivalent to Anderson.
Jhonny Nunez is so far from the majors that we couldn't blame Colletti if he ever does find success, but why even take that chance? Marlon Anderson adds nothing to the Dodgers while taking up a spot on the roster, thus exposing one more player to the rule V draft. Making moves for the sake of making moves is a really good way to look bad four or five years down the road.