Welcome to ‘Mound visit Monday’. Every Monday, we’re going to take a visit and look back at notable transactions made by the Dodgers over the last 20 years.
This week, we’ll be taking a look at notable transactions from January 17-23.
2011: Signed Gabe Kapler as free agent
Gabe Kapler is currently the manager of the Giants and was recently named the NL Manager of the Year. Kapler was also in the Dodgers’ organization as a coach, but did you know he was actually signed as a free agent?
After a 12-year career, Kapler was signed by the Dodgers in 2011. He never made it to the regular season, as he was released on March 31, ending his playing career.
In November of 2014, Kapler became the Dodgers’ director of player development. He’d spend the next few seasons in the organization, and was one of the finalists to be named the new Dodgers manager after the departure of Don Mattingly. Ultimately, the Dodgers hired Dave Roberts to be their next manager.
2016: Signed Joe Blanton as free agent
After a lengthy major-league career, the Dodgers added Joe Blanton to their bullpen. This was his second stint with the Dodgers, as he was previously with the club for 10 games in 2012. His first stint wasn’t great, as he posted an ERA of 4.99. His second stint was a complete 180.
Blanton ended up being one of LA’s best relievers in 2016. He was also very durable, nearly appearing in half of their games. For the year, Blanton appeared in 75 games and tossed 80 innings. He posted a 2.48 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 1.01 WHIP and 163 ERA+. Looking back on his career, it was arguably his best season.
2008: Signed Chan Ho Park as free agent
Just like with Blanton, another pitcher had their second stint with LA. The Dodgers signed Chan Ho Park, who returned to LA after. He had a great career in LA from 1994-2001.
Seven years and three teams later, Park returned in 2008. At the age of 35, Park appeared in 54 games for the Dodgers. He was a frequent arm used out of the bullpen and was one of LA’s best options. He posted a 3.40 ERA, his lowest since 2000 with the Dodgers.
2010: Signed Vicente Padilla as a free agent
The Dodgers picked up Vicente Padilla during the 2009 season. After a great tenure with LA to finish the season, LA brought him back in 2010. Everyone mostly remembers Padilla because he started on Opening Day for the Dodgers in 2010. It was always a great trivia question because Clayton Kershaw started a million straight Opening Day’s following him, so you really had to think as to who started before Kershaw made his first.
2007: Signed Pedro Baez as amateur free agent
It really is hard to believe that Pedro Baez signed with the Dodgers all the way back in 2007. Near the end of his stay in LA he was one of the longest tenured players in the organization. Baez signed with the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic. He actually began his career as a third baseman.
After the 2012 season, the Dodgers converted Baez to pitcher. At that point, he had spent nearly 500 games in the minors as an infielder. Well, the move paid off. He was with the Dodgers from 2014-2020 and was pretty damn good. Baez appeared in 355 games and posted an ERA of 3.03. In 356 innings of action, Baez also posted a 3.61 FIP, 1.10 WHIP and 132 ERA+.
2017: Acquired Logan Forsythe from Rays
We wrap up this weeks post with a trade! The Dodgers traded right-handed pitcher Jose De Leon to the Rays in exchange for second baseman Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe was coming off two great years in Tampa Bay where he was one of the most underrated second basemen in the league. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite meet those expectations. During his time in LA, Forsythe hit .218 with an OPS of .639. After hitting 37 home runs across the 2015-2016 seasons, he hit only eight in 189 games while with the Dodgers.
Forsythe was traded at the trade deadline in 2018 to the Twins in exchange for Brian Dozier.