The news just before Friday night’s game that we had just traded Baez and Aybar to the Braves for infielder Wilson Betemit definitely sparked the team, as we broke out of our slump to clobber the Nationals. After a great day, we came back on Saturday for more of the same, and another big win for the blue. The way we had been going, those 4 runs in the first 2 innings allowed by Lowe would have surley meant a loss, but our offense has come alive, and we may be back in it.
Its amazing how much a trade like that can spark a lineup. A trade that benefits us pretty much sends a message to the players from management "Look, we aren’t giving up on you guys and we still have confidence that you can win, we’re going to try to help you out" The players left who were down on themselves because of the losing streak, now have a new outlook, and think that maybe we have a chance and play with a spark.
As for the trade itself, Wilson Betemit is a very nice acquisition for the Dodgers to make. Betemit will fill a hole the Dodgers have had all season since the possible career ending injury to Mueller, for a good all around 3B. Ideally, you would like a 3B who fields well, is a good hitter and has some power. Betemit is a very good fielder, he can hit for average and has some power as well. We have had many people try to fill that role, but didn’t really have a 3B. Aybar, while a good hitter (who should develop some power at some point) is a really bad fielder and can be a defensive liability. Izzy, while a great fielder, cant hit, and is really ****, not a 3B. Ramon Martinez was a decent fielder, could hit for average, but no power and really wasnt an everyday player, more of a utility man/spot starter. The only person who really fit the profile would be Saenz, who is a decent fielder, good average, good power, but he’s not an everyday player, he just cant handle playing everyday, he’s better as a pinch hitter/spot starter, and I feel more comfortable with him defensively at 1B than 3B. Overall, Betemit is a young player who can fill that spot for us for a long time and be a good producer for us.
As for the players who will be leaving us, I would like to wish them the best of luck in Atlanta. Aybar, like I said, is a very good hitter who should develop some power, as he has hit with power in the minors, he just is not good defensively. That is something that he may eventually improve on, but he is a very good hitter, left handed. When he bats righty thats a different story, but that would only be when he faces LHPs. As for Baez, he needed a change of scenery and we all knew he would not resign with us in the offseason, as he really wants to become a closer and he obviously wouldn’t get the chance here. He started the season as a very good closer, and then lost his confidence after letting up a 5 run lead in the 9th against San Diego (entered with bases loaded with no out, thanks to Lance Carter) and never was the same. I hope for his sake, that he can put all this behind him and start over and do well in Atlanta.