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Dodgers Lose Upside And Depth By Sending Ronny Brito & Andrew Sopko To Blue Jays In Russell Martin Trade

Matthew Christensen-Tulsa Drillers

The Los Angeles Dodgers took from depth in their Minor League system, as they normally do, to bring back veteran catcher and the organization’s draftee Russell Martin in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. L.A. sent shortstop prospect Ronny Brito and right-handed starter Andrew Sopko to Toronto in the deal.

Brito signed out of the Dominican Republic for $2 million during the Dodgers’ 2015 international spending spree. The now 19-year-old came stateside in 2017 and broke out with Ogden last year by batting .288/.352/.489 with 11 home runs in 53 games.

However, Brito’s production should taken taken with a huge grain of salt as the Pioneer League is notoriously beneficial for hitters.

While he has impact potential on both sides of the ball, Brito has yet to play in a full-season league and will likely need at least three or four more years of development before he’s ready for the Majors. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss on offense and some raw tools that need polishing on defense.

The Dodgers could regret trading him several years down the road, but the odds are against it.

Sopko is a depth guy, with average stuff across the board but solid results as he’s moved up the ladder. Selected in the seventh round of the 2015 Draft out of Gonzaga, he reached Double-A in 2016 and has improved there each season since.

Sopko has averaged nearly a strikeout an inning over his professional career. His 3.61 ERA is good, not great, considering more than a third of his innings came in the California League. Sopko has shown good control, walking just 112 batters in 394.1 innings.

He has the classic starter’s repertoire, though no one pitch stands out. He’s likely a long man out of the bullpen or an emergency starter once he’s ready for the Majors.

All in all, the Dodgers surrendered Minor League players who weren’t irreplaceable and didn’t have plans in the organization’s immediate future. Toronto could benefit in the long run, but the move made since for the Dodgers right now and shouldn’t come back to bite them.

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