"You look at catchers, they're hard to find," says Ned Colletti. Which is why you probably shouldn't trade a future star catcher for a brittle third baseman. Colletti is on record as saying he regrets trading Carlos Santana for Casey Blake. So do we.
After saddling the Dodgers with Juan Uribe and Ted Lilly for the next three years, after starting a black hole in left field for much of this season, and after watching the Dodgers' milquetoast offense produce less heat than a can of Sterno, Colletti has traded Trayvon Robinson, one of his top offensive prospects — and a switch-hitting outfielder at that.
The return for Robinson? The next A.J. Ellis, a starter who can barely break 90 mph, and a middle reliever (who are pretty easy to find). After Colletti's impatience with the likes of Santana, Edwin Jackson and James McDonald, let's hope he isn't merely trying to undo the damage of falling over himself to acquire "experienced players" (i.e., old farts).
Next year is the final guaranteed year in Colletti's contract, and the Dodgers' ownership turmoil places his future beyond 2012 in further doubt. Colletti's done well to flip Rafael Furcal for a Cardinals prospect, and locking up Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier is an obvious short-term goal (if not currently a pipe dream).
Barring a miracle or five, the 2012 Dodgers won't be much better than this year's team. If Colletti's wheeling and dealing simply prevents next year's team from being much worse, the new ownership would be justified in replacing him. The Dodgers are the Titanic, and these B-level prospects are deck chairs. How much longer can Dodger fans tread water?