Jon Morosi stirred the pot with this tweet:
#Dodgers, #SFGiants aren’t ruling out the prospect of making a Will Smith trade, source says. The rivals haven’t paired up on a deal since @Sweendog9 to L.A. for Travis Denker in 2007. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 25, 2019
Now, the caveat with any national report is that you never know who’s giving this info to a reporter or why. The Giants could be leaking this to Morosi to drive up the bidding on Smith — remember, every Dodgers’ prospect is already a fully-formed top 10 MLB player who just hasn’t been given enough playing time — while the Dodgers could just as easily be spouting this nonsense to poison the well for the same reason: nobody can part with the prospect stock the Dodgers have. They’ve forgotten about more of their good prospects than the Giants have ever had. That means they can dictate the price.
Nobody wants to see the Dodgers win the World Series, and if you’re Spectrum cable in Los Angeles, you don’t want people to see the Dodgers at all, but they’re going to keep winding up there; and, eventually, through inertia, an umpire’s decision, or Cody Bellinger, they’re going to win it. Can adding Will Smith make that happen this year?
I sure hope not. On the other hand, why fight the inevitable?
For some people, trading with the Dodgers is fine. Every single player in their farm system is a thousand times better than all three good Giants left on the roster combined, so who cares where the talent comes from if it can help the Giants win in the near future?
This supposes that trades work this way. They normally don’t. Everybody’s hoping for a James Shield for Fernando Tatis Jr. situation when you’re more likely to get a pair of forgettable players or a trio of players who never quite pan out.
The Dodgers didn’t get Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Justin Turner, or Max Muncy through trades, nor did the Giants get Posey, Crawford, Belt, Panik, Bumgarner, Cain, Lincecum, or Andres Torres through trades. Same with the Astros. Cores are built through the draft, development process, and some luck. Trades supplement those cores most of the time, not the other way around.
But what if the Dodgers traded their Will Smith (their 1st round draft pick in 2016) for the Giants’ Will Smith? Well, the Giants would suddenly have a major league-ready catcher who hits better than Buster Posey. That’s something! Or removing him from the Dodgers’ system and the protection of that lineup could return him to his more pedestrian minor league totals (.806 career OPS), which would then translate into just at or below a league average player. And then the Dodgers would win the World Series.
For most people, the idea of helping the Dodgers is so repugnant that it might cause them to call into question the people making decisions. I want to focus on this part because it’s the most controversial. The new front office trading with the team’s rival would raise a lot of questions, but ones that could be answered pretty easily:
- Yes, Farhan Zaidi is an active agent of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Yes, the Giants will get a poison pill player in return for Will Smith.
- Yes, the Giants will be bad as long as Farhan Zaidi runs the team and in the ensuing decade after he leaves while whatever suckers who get the job after him have to clean up the mess.
This is for those three World Series wins. The Dodgers don’t care about the rivalry, they care about the competition. While the Giants were basking in nostalgia, the Dodgers were hibernating in the long cold winter of not winning a World Series plotting to take down the closest competition. It was in this cold dark night that Agent Z was forged and it is to this dark place of no hope he aims to banish the Giants. It’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s true*.
But you should want this. The only way out is through. What happens after the apocalypse? The Giants have been bad for a while. They’re going to be bad for even longer than you think. Farhan Zaidi already got what he needed out of this job — a title bump — why should he care if he helps the Dodgers win the World Series? He could always be really smug about it, too: “Hey, without the Giants, the Dodgers never could’ve won the World Series.”
It’d take enormous... confidence to walk into a new job and within a year remove the face of the franchise and help that franchise’s biggest rivalry win a championship. Farhan Zaidi is smarter than all of us put together. He knows decisions have consequences. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to prejudge and assume he knows and doesn’t care or wait to see if he’s playing a longer game that could, potentially, lead to the Giants having consecutive winning months at some point in the next five years.
But what does it matter? Whether Zaidi aims to trash the Giants on behalf of the Dodgers and A’s or rebuild the team in the way he thinks best even if it upsets a lot of people because he figures he’ll win them back when the team is good again your life is not ruined. We can just as easily shrug and move on. That’s the healthier thing to do. Most fans have already developed a coping mechanism on account of the past three years: remembering the good times. So, just keep watching those DVDs.
My biggest fear used to be failure, but I fail every day. It’s unavoidable, whether I fear it or not. Fear is just a feeling, and usually hurts us more than the thing we actually fear (guns, plane crashes, the finale of How I Met Your Mother excepted). We shouldn’t fear a trade with LA or a Dodgers world championship. We should be angry about it, though, because Morosi tweets about two rivals making a trade is only designed to drum up reactions like this post.