LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers completed their trade for Roberto Hernandez, sending minor league pitcher Victor Arano to the Phillies as the second player to be named later to complete the deal.
Hernandez was acquired by the Dodgers on Aug. 7 for two players to be named later. To date Hernandez is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts, with 15 strikeouts and eight walks in 23 innings. The Dodgers on Aug. 16 sent infielder Jesmuel Valentin to Philadelphia as the first player to be named later.
Arano, just 19, was 4-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 22 games with Class-A Great Lakes, including 15 starts. Arano had 83 strikeouts in 86 innings this season with just 20 walks, and 11 home runs allowed.
Before the season Arano was ranked as the Dodgers' No. 10 prospect by (new Cubs scout) Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus.
"Arano is not the most projectible arm, a little more polished than the average AZL arm," Parks said in an interview with Craig Minami. "The body is a lot more mature than the other kids in that league."
The Dodgers signed Arano out of Mexico on March 4, 2013.
The Phillies reportedly had a list of four names from which to choose two to complete the trade for Hernandez, and at first glance it seems a little steep for the Dodgers.
With starter Josh Beckett hurting and Dan Haren circling the drain at the time, the Dodgers had a clear need for a starter and Hernandez has done a nice job in filling that immediate need. If anything it's more damning that the Dodgers didn't have anyone in-house able to step in and fill that role, in the organization's eyes.
But just because former first-round picks Zach Lee and Chris Reed haven't developed into major-league-ready starters, or that Red Patterson or Carlos Frias were the best choices to fill the need internally with Chad Billingsley, Ross Stripling and Stephen Fife out for the year, doesn't mean the player development staff has been totally derelict.
After all, major league (or major league-ready, at the time) pitchers Nathan Eovaldi, Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster were developed by the Dodgers and were dealt in the last two years, trades I'm sure the Dodgers would do again.
It's just that it seems a little frustrating when the organization needs a pitcher like Hernandez because there are no developed alternatives, it seems a self-fulfilling prophecy to deal away a young arm like Arano who might develop into an in-house option.
Then again, maybe I am misreading the market. The Giants traded for Jake Peavy - like Hernandez, a mediocre starter but one reliable enough to take the ball every fifth day - and gave up 25-year-old Triple-A reliever Heath Hembree and 22-year-old starting pitcher Edwin Escobar, the latter ranked in the top 100 prospects in baseball before the 2014 season by both Baseball America (No. 56) and MLB.com (No. 95). Neither Valentin nor Arano ranked anywhere near the top 100.
The Yankees acquired Brandon McCarthy, another starter similar to Hernandez, by sending to Arizona 26-year-old mediocre major league pitcher Vidal Nuno, closer to a Patterson type, or perhaps Reed in a few years.
The axiom seems true that people tend to overvalue their own team's prospects, so perhaps this is just the cost of doing business. At least business is good, for now anyway.