15 May 2014

what if the dodgers didn't trade paul konerko?

well, for starters, there would have been a lot more cards of konerko in a dodger uniform.  not that there aren't a lot already, especially considering that he played in only 55 games for them over the course of the 1997 and 1998 seasons.  here's a 1997 bowman chrome card of konerko that i picked up recently
tommy lasorda traded konerko (the dodgers' top prospect at the time) in 1998 to the reds for jeff shaw because the team needed a closer, and also because konerko's path was blocked.  the dodgers had moved konerko out from behind the plate a couple years earlier in the minors, in part (i assume) because they had mike piazza at the major league level. however, they also had eric karros at first base. 

still, the 1998 dodgers had a real need at third base, and that's where i thought konerko would stick, at least for a while.  although, had he stayed at the hot corner for the dodgers, maybe adrian beltre doesn't get a shot.  and maybe if the team doesn't trade for shaw, darren dreifort or someone else becomes a decent closer and eric gagne doesn't get a chance following shaw's retirement.

certainly, the white sox (who acquired konerko from the reds after the 1998 season) would have suffered had the dodgers not traded him away.  he's hit 428 home runs for the chisox, and isn't quite done yet, although he has said that 2014 will be his final season.

i, for one, am hoping for one more konerko as a dodger card - hopefully topps continues the super veteran insert set in series two, and hopefully konerko is included.  he's done enough, even if it wasn't done in dodger blue.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Great post. You should start a "What If" series of posts. I would consider doing it on my blog... but I don't have enough baseball knowledge when it comes to prospects and such.