Nice call by Canuck who called this in the Halladay thread right below. Though I'm sure he's not happy about being right.
The Dodgers played this right, it was first leaked that the deal was Elbert/Josh Bell for Sherrill and there was more fucking going on in the thread comments then in a Paris Hilton sex video. Once everyone found out it was Steve Johnson, calmer voices surfaced because the alternative was so hard to contemplate. Elbert is probably our best upper level pitching prospect while Steve Johnson is Steve Johnson.
Steve Johnson may have saved the Dodgers from trading a better prospect by performing quite well in his last two starts for the Lookouts. Johnson’s ceiling is a back end rotation guy, but Josh Bell may be the guy we really regret losing in this deal.
Bell has many scenarios that could play out:
1. Stays at 3rd base and learns to hit LHP then we were screwed.
2. Stays at 3rd base, never learns to hit LHP, we are still screwed.
3. Moves to first base and learns to hit LHP , then we are still screwed.
4. Moves to first base, never learns to hit LHP – still bummed
5. Stays at 3rd, never hits either arm – okay
6. Moves to 1st, can’t hit either arm – okay
The latest skinny on Steve Johnson from Baseball Prospecus Kevin Goldstein:
Steven Johnson, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga)
Monday's stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
A 13th-round pick in 2005 and the son of former big leaguer and Orioles broadcaster Dave Johnson, Steven has taken a slow-but-steady rise through the Dodgers system. He has taken a big step forward this year, striking out 102 in 96.2 innings for High-A Inland Empire and now 15 in 10 2/3 frames over his first two Double-A starts. He's not a monster by any stretch, but his fastball and breaking ball both rate a tick above average and there's some deception to his delivery. Scouts think he could fit in the back of the rotation when all is said and done.
The latest skinny on Josh Bell from Kevin Goldstein:
Josh Bell, 3B, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga)
A fourth-round pick in 2005, Bell has always combined impressive tools with good/not-great performances due to a poor approach. Things have changed considerably for him this year, as his walk rate is way up, his strikeout rate is way down, and that combination is rarely seen suddenly only after a player reaches the upper levels. The exciting thing is that the bat is beginning to explode as well; by going 12-for-21 in his last six games with four doubles and pair of home runs, he's now batting .297/.388/.500. No wonder his name is suddenly coming up quite a bit in trade rumors
As painful to the future the trade may be, we do upgrade the bullpen from Leach to Sherrill and if he continues to pitch like he did for the Orioles he adds a formidable arm to the bullpen and may save Torre from killing Troncoso which might have value all to itself.