Work in Sports
The need for speed
Dodgers get Goodwin from Rockies in 4-player deal
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves a bona fide leadoff hitter.
The Dodgers acquired center fielder Tom Goodwin from the Colorado Rockies shortly before the trade deadline Monday for outfielder Todd Hollandsworth, a former NL Rookie of the Year, and two minor leaguers.
"Tom addresses the need that everyone felt we had," Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said. "We got speed, a legitimate leadoff hitter, one of the premiere base stealers in the game right now. He's also an above-average defensive player.
"This makes us better because of the diversity it adds. We're a power-oriented team. When we're not hitting home runs, we should be able to manufacture runs. It should put some pressure on other teams when he's on the bases."
Hollandsworth and Devon White shared the leadoff position and center field for the most part this season, and neither distinguished themselves. Nevertheless, the Dodgers entered Monday's action just 21/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.
"His on-base percentage this year is right at .370," Malone said of the 32-year-old Goodwin, who began his career with the Dodgers in 1991. "He's second in all of baseball in stolen bases with 39. He's struggled a little bit in July, but we know what he's capable of doing. We think he'll set the table for the rest of our lineup."
The Dodgers made Goodwin the 22nd overall selection in the June 1989 free agent draft. He played for the Dodgers from 1991-93 before being claimed on waivers by the Kansas City Royals.
Goodwin, who stole a career-high 66 bases for the Royals in 1996, later played with the Texas Rangers before signing a three-year, $10.75 million free-agent contract with the Rockies last winter.
In addition to his 39 steals, Goodwin is hitting .271 with five homers and 47 RBIs in 91 games. He got off to a good start, and was hitting .316 on June 30. Since then, his batting average has dropped 45 points.
He is expected to join Los Angeles during its current series in Pittsburgh.
White recently came off the disabled list after being sidelined nearly three months because of a partially torn left rotator cuff. He began the season as the leadoff hitter and center fielder.
"Now you've got four starting outfielders for three positions," Malone said. "I think it will help Devo's performance, being rested. (Manager) Davey (Johnson) will be able to give guys some days off."
The Dodgers also received cash in the deal, while in addition to Hollandsworth, the Rockies received outfielder Kevin Gibbs and left-handed pitcher Randey Dorame.
Hollandsworth, the 1996 NL Rookie of the Year, is eligible for free agency following this season. He started 55 games in the outfield for the Dodgers this season and hit .234 with eight home runs and 24 RBI.
"Todd wasn't going to re-sign here," Malone said. "He wanted to play every day. He's more of a corner guy, we've got Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green. This gives him an opportunity to shine in the last couple of months."
Hollandsworth, 27, became the fifth consecutive Dodger to win the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1996 when he hit .291 with 12 homers and 59 RBIs -- all career bests.
He is expected to join his new team in Chicago in the next few days. The Rockies entered play Monday trailing Arizona by seven games.
Gibbs, 26, has played with Double-A San Antonio and Class A Vero Beach and San Bernardino this season. He hit .301 in 27 games with two homers and 20 RBI with the three teams.
Dorame, 21, opened his season at Vero Beach, and was promoted to San Antonio on June 6. He has an overall record of 10-5 with a 3.04 ERA.
The deal with the Dodgers came less than a week after the Rockies completed a seven-player trade with the Boston Red Sox.