If you look at the National League home run leaders, you’ll find a familiar name: former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Scott Schebler. He was included in a three-team trade that sent Schebler, along with Jose Peraza, to the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers landed Micah Johnson, Frankie Montas and Trayce Thompson in the deal. At the time, the move was assumed to be a good one for the Dodgers. They swapped roughly equivalent outfielders, roughly equivalent second basemen and added Montas (the real prize for the Dodgers side of the trade).
A few years later? Mayyyyyybe not so good.
Now, it’s obvious that you’re not going to win every trade, and despite the Dodgers recent hot streak, it appears as if this deal remains a disappointment.
Sure, Schebler is slashing .241/.309/.540, but it’s hard to ignore the 16 home runs he has this season. Schebler had slugged a mere 12 homers in his previous 312 big league at-bats.
On the other side, the Dodgers’ end of the deal is hard to evaluate. Montas was traded to the Oakland Athletics as part of the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick rental package last season. Montas has a 6.11 ERA in 20 games for Oakland this season.
Meanwhile, Johnson was sent to the Atlanta Braves in January for a player to be named later. Then there’s Thompson, who has bounced between the Majors, Minors and the disabled list.
But the question I keep asking myself is this: if Schebler were still in the Dodgers system, where exactly would he be?
At the time of the trade, there’s no other way to put it than by saying that the 25-year-old Schebler was expendable. As an outfielder, Schebler found himself behind Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, and even the likes of Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke.
Fast-forward to 2017 and I’m not even sure things would have been better. During the offseason, Schebler still would have found himself behind Alex Verdugo — who was featured in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects in both 2016 (No. 100) and 2017 (58) — and one Cody Bellinger.
The point is, the Dodgers may have lost a trade and Schebler appears to be a good baseball player, and neither of these things really matters. The Reds remain a non-factor in the NL and, well, things are going okay in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are 35-23 entering play Monday night, they’ve won eight of their last 11 games, and have Bellinger faring just fine in the outfield.
So yeah, mash your heart out Scott. (Just not when the Dodgers are around).