About a week ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox rocked the sports world with a nine player trade that involved star players, prospects and a lot of cash. Much has been written about it already and there are many others who work in the business that can provide better insight on the length of contracts and money involved.
Since the trade went down last weekend, I wanted to compare the 2012 opening day roster with the team it put on the field after the trade was completed. As you can see by the graphic below, there has been a lot of change since the season began. That made me think, How Important IS team chemistry when significantly changing the dynamics in the heat of a pennant race?
As a team owner, general manager or Dodger fan, the Dodgers makeover is impressive. Not many would question acquiring players such as Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to help your team.
However, at what price can you pay when altering team chemistry?
Let’s look at the changes, which do not include Crawford since he is injured and not on the active 25 man roster.
– The team’s roster has changed 36% since opening day (9 players).
– Five new pitchers have joined the roster since opening day (42% change).
– Half of the team’s infielders have changed since the start of the 2012 season.
Going into tonight’t game, the Dodgers have played a total of six games since the trade and are just 2-4 and have scored two runs or less in three of the six games. Concerned? Dodger skipper Don Mattingly called for a 15 minute team meeting to address the players. As of this writing, the Dodgers trail the San Francisco Giants by 4.5 games in the NL West with 30 games left. Yes, they are only 1.5 games behind the Braves and Cardinals for the Wild Car spot.
Time will tell if the players mesh, deliver and send the team to the playoffs. Great move or missed opportunity? Best trade in decades for the Dodgers or a big bust? Stay tuned.
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