Phillies, Dodgers Agree on Deal Involving Shane Victorino

The Phillies and Dodgers have agreed to a trade involving Shane Victorino, according to Todd Zolecki. The Blue Crew, of course, would get the mercurial center fielder while the Phillies are receiving young right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and Double-A right-hander Ethan Martin. That Victorino is headed elsewhere is no surprise as he is a free agent after the season and will not be signed to a contract cheaply. Getting value for him now makes a lot of sense for the Phillies.

Lindblom is a 25-year-old right-hander who has worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. His Minor League resume is less than impressive (4.30 ERA), but has shown his ability to strike out hitters persists even at the Major League level. In terms of raw swings and misses, Lindblom ranks 16th among all National League relievers with 96, right ahead of Jonathan Papelbon with 95. For the Phillies, the most attractive feature is Lindblom’s relative cheapness and his lack of service time. With under a full year of service time, they’ll have one pre-arbitration year left with him before his four years of arbitration-eligibility.

Like his new Phillies colleagues, Lindblom has had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in the yard, even at pitcher-friendly Chavez Ravine. In 47.2 innings, the fly ball-prone right-hander allowed nine home runs, accounting for more than 16 percent of his fly balls allowed. But, thanks to a low BABIP (.266) and very unsustainable base runners stranded rate (93 percent) his 3.02 ERA is well under the retrodictors such as FIP (5.05) and xFIP (4.33). SIERA, however, likes him, putting him at 3.66.

Per FanGraphs, Lindblom is almost all fastball-slider, as they account for 91 percent of his pitches thrown this season. Here’s where he typically throws his fastballs towards right- and left-handed hitters:

And the sliders:

As you can tell, Lindblom lives on the outside edge of the plate. Opposing hitters have posted a .281 wOBA against him on pitchers on the outer-third of the plate, .254 on pitches in the middle (surprisingly!), and .370 on pitches on the inside-third of the plate. Four of the nine home runs he has allowed this year have been on the inside corner.

Lindblom is already a serviceable reliever good enough to handle the seventh or eighth inning for the Phillies, but he has plenty of room — and, most importantly, time — to grow. The Phillies will have him for potentially five more years after 2012, so there is a distinct possibility he blossoms into a valuable late-innings reliever like Ryan Madson did.

The second player coming over to Philadelphia, 23-year-old Ethan Martin, has spent this season with Double-A Chattanooga. The Dodgers’ first round pick in 2008, he has battled control issues in his professional career as his 14 percent walk rate signifies, but still has some potential if he can ever battle those demons. His fastball-slider combo profiles best as a relief pitcher, but assigning him to a specific role is putting the cart before the horse.

The Dodgers get a fast, switch-hitting outfielder in Victorino. Lately, he has had problems hitting from the left side (.282 wOBA vs. RHP), but is about average in a typical year. He can hit anywhere in a lineup, which is a feature that some managers still value, and he’s still a very efficient base-stealer (24-for-28, 86% this year). Reunited with Davey Lopes, the Dodgers are hoping for even more production on the bases.

To keep their outfield fresh, the Phillies have recalled on-again, off-again outfielder Domonic Brown. Once the top prospect in the system, Brown has battled injuries and sky-high expectations amid his inability to hold down a MLB roster spot. However, he had been tearing up Triple-A pitching since returning from his latest disabled list stint as Twitter friend Michael Stubel pointed out:

twitter.com/MichaelStubel/status/230072336756379648

Overall, the Phillies came out okay with this trade. It’s likely they could have gotten something more valuable than a relief pitcher and a Minor League throw-in, but it’s better than nothing and Lindblom should eat up high-leverage innings for years to come. The added bonus is regular MLB playing time for Brown, who has yet to have a fair shake at the opportunity. And Victorino’s departure, obviously, signifies a new chapter in the Phillies’ history as they move further and further away from the 2007-11 “golden era”.

UPDATE: The Phillies will get a player to be named later or cash along with Lindblom and Martin.

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16 comments

  1. bje79

    July 31, 2012 11:09 AM

    RIP Buffalo Soldier

  2. Noah

    July 31, 2012 11:22 AM

    Seems a little light but something is better than nothing. But lower pressure playing time for Dom is nothing but good.

  3. hk

    July 31, 2012 11:24 AM

    Heyman is reporting Pence to SF is done. Dom Brown has been freed.

  4. Ryan

    July 31, 2012 11:28 AM

    Good luck to Shane in LA. He was one of my all time favorites–a better human being than a player–and he was a really good player.

    I’m really happy to see Dom finally getting to where he deserves to be. Pence should’ve never been acquired in the first place and Dom should’ve been our regular in right since 2011.

  5. Nick

    July 31, 2012 11:35 AM

    Does anyone know yet what the Phillies get back for Pence?

  6. hk

    July 31, 2012 11:39 AM

    Nick,

    Tommy Joseph, a catcher, is one player being reported. No one else, yet.

  7. Scott G

    July 31, 2012 12:07 PM

    I know the Phillies need to groom a catcher for post-Carlos, but seriously? You’re going to trade Pence for just a AA catcher? Does this seem as bad to anyone else as it does to me?

  8. Phillie697

    July 31, 2012 12:20 PM

    I thought the trade for Vic is not bad, considering that the Dodgers likely will not re-sign Vic. If Lindblom does indeed turn into Ryan Madson 2.0, then it’s a damn good return for 2 months rental of the Flying Hawaiian.

    @Scott G,

    How about we let the news hit the wire before we judge a trade that we don’t know yet?

  9. John

    July 31, 2012 12:29 PM

    Does blanton goto baltimore? What about Lee?

  10. Dan R

    July 31, 2012 12:30 PM

    Lindblom is definitely a fly-ball pitcher, but an encouraging stat is that he seems to have above average skill at inducing infield pops (18.1% career IFFB%). Hopefully that trend continues.

  11. hk

    July 31, 2012 12:33 PM

    Scott G,

    According to Heyman, the Phils will also get Nate Schierholtz and a pitcher from SF.

  12. hk

    July 31, 2012 12:36 PM

    FWIW, Baseball America ranked Joseph as SF’s #2 prospect after last season and he was named the best defensive catcher in the California League last year. With Valle seemingly taking a step backwards, maybe Joseph is a decent heir apparent to Chooch.

  13. Dan K.

    July 31, 2012 03:12 PM

    The Shane trade is, honestly, a coup for us. Great trade. The Pence trade is the exact opposite, in my opinion.

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