Jim Edmonds-for-Chris Dickerson swap smart all-around
It’s almost a challenge trade: division rivals swap left-handed-hitting center fielders. But there isn’t much downside for either Reds GM Walt Jocketty or Brewers GM Doug Melvin here. The Brewers have fallen completely out of the race in the NL Central, and Jim Edmonds has indicated that he’s probably going to retire after the season. Now he’ll get a chance to go out with a winner, and the Brewers can take a look at Chris Dickerson to see if he should fit into their 2011 plans. Edmonds will definitely be a useful part for the Reds. What remains to be seen is how exactly he’ll fit. He’s not a regular center fielder these days anyway, and he has a sore Achilles’ tendon causing him pain with every step. What he also has is an OPS 60 points higher than that of any of the Reds’ regular outfielders. He’s at 843 at the moment, compared to 780 for Jonny Gomes, 737 for Jay Bruce and 705 for Drew Stubbs. The guess is that the Reds will keep their current reserve outfielders, Chris Heisey and Laynce Nix. So, the team could demote either Bruce or Stubbs and give Edmonds a major role or it could have him replace Juan Francisco and give Dusty Baker headaches trying to find at-bats for everyone. I’m guessing that Stubbs gets sent down until Sept. 1, with Edmonds and Heisey sharing time in center. The Brewers will probably give Dickerson about three starts per week while also looking at Lorenzo Cain in center. Dickerson has been on the DL since the end of April after suffering a broken hamate bone, but he’s hit .442/.528/.767 with three homers and six steals over 13 games in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Louisville. While he’s yet to really establish himself in the majors, the 28-year-old Dickerson did hit .274/.367/.421 in 401 at-bats for the Reds over the last three years. He’s an average defender in center, a plus defender in the corners and he’ll make the minimum in 2011. His track record makes him look like a perfect fourth outfielder. However, he also has a history of inconsistency and injuries. He’s a nice pickup regardless, but the injuries may prevent him from ever fulfilling his potential.