Nearly eight years after losing Shane Victorino to the Philadelphia Phillies in the Rule 5 draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the switch-hitting outfielder Tuesday morning near the trading deadline.
In exchange for reliever Josh Lindblom and Double-A right-hander Ethan Martin, the Dodgers added Victorino to play left field and bat leadoff less than a week after trading for Miami Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez.
Victorino, a two-time All-Star and regular center fielder for the Phillies during a run that saw them win five consecutive NL East titles and a World Series championship, can be a free agent after the season. That, along with the Phillies falling into last place in an injury-plagued season, made him available.
Dodgers' leadoff hitters have been among the least productive in the National League, with an on-base percentage of .279. While Victorino, 31, has endured for him a below-average season, his .324 on-base percentage and occasional power represent a significant upgrade. He has been far more effective versus left-handed pitchers.
The Dodgers on Monday night acquired reliever Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners, allowing them to part with Lindblom, a 25-year-old right-hander with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances. The Dodgers on Tuesday also hoped to acquire a starting pitcher before the deadline, and continued talks on that front for Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, among others.
Carrying an expensive and aging roster, and having signed pitcher Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144-million extension a week ago, the Phillies would not have re-signed Victorino. At a time when the club must restructure, it also was considering moving outfielders Hunter Pence and Juan Pierre along with starting pitcher Cliff Lee.
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