Three weeks ago I posted “Could There Soon Be a Flyin’ Hawaiian at Dodger Stadium?” – Well, that question has just been answered as MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Dodgers have just acquired Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino in exchange for Dodger reliever Josh Lindblom and highly touted pitching prospect Ethan Martin.
Victorino was drafted by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 1999 amateur draft but was left unprotected in the 2002 Rule 5 draft and was picked up Padres, where he played in 36 MLB games in 2003. He was eventually returned to the Dodgers but was again left unprotected in the 2005 Rule 5 Draft and went to the Phillies, where he has been ever since. With this trade, he is now with the Dodger organization for the third time, but this time as an experienced All-Star player with a good bat and outstanding speed and defense.
Although a career center fielder, Victorino figures to be the Dodgers everyday left fielder for the stretch run, a position that has been unfilled permanently since the departure of Manny Ramirez over two years ago. That said, it may be unfilled again at the end of this season when Victorino becomes a free agent – at least until highly touted Cuban out fielder Yasiel Puig (whom the Dodgers recently signed to a 7-year/$42 million contract) is MLB ready.
But in the meantime, let’s enjoy the excitement that Victorino will undoubted bring to the Dodgers for the next two months and hopefully into the 2012 post-season.
Here is the official Dodgers press release:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom, minor league right-hander Ethan Martin and a player to be named later or cash considerations. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
“We’re excited to add an All-Star caliber player with postseason experience,” said Colletti. “He plays the game with passion, gives us a top of the order bat from both sides of the plate, can steal bases and is solid defensively in the outfield.”
Victorino, 31, is batting .261 with nine homers, 24 steals and 40 RBI in 101 games this season with the Phillies. The switch-hitter is hitting .316 against left-handed pitching this season and is swinging a hot bat of late, having hit safely in five consecutive games and nine of his last 10 at a .378 clip (14-for-37) since July 18.
The two-time All-Star (2009 and 2011) has a .277 career batting average with 88 home runs and 394 RBI in nine Major League seasons with the Padres (2003) and Phillies (2005-2012). The speedy Hawaii native has twice led the NL in triples (2009 and 2011) and has been successful on 81.9% of his stolen base attempts with 186 steals in his career. In the field, Victorino is a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner (2008-10) and ranks 10th in the Majors with 54 outfield assists since 2006. He won a World Series ring as a member of the 2008 Phillies and has appeared in 46 career postseason games, batting .269 with six home runs and 30 RBI.
Victorino was originally selected by Los Angeles in the sixth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft before he was lost to San Diego (2002) and then Philadelphia (2004) in the Rule 5 Draft.
Lindblom, 25, has gone 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in a team-leading 48 relief appearances this season. The Indiana native is in his second Major League season after being selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Purdue University.
Martin, 23, was the Dodgers’ first round selection (15th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts this season with Double-A Chattanooga.