The Dodgers sent McDonald to Pittsburgh in 2010 for seven weeks of setup man Octavio Dotel. McDonald was 9-3 with a 2.37 earned-run average in the first half of this season, and it appeared Colletti had blundered badly. In the second half, McDonald is 3-5 with a 7.52 ERA.
The Dodgers' new owners liked what they saw from Colletti and just extended his contract. While some general managers hoard prospects, Colletti is willing to trade all but his very best prospects. Of course, from 2005 to 2011, the only star he acquired in his prime was Manny Ramirez — a donation from the Boston Red Sox — so the very best prospects need not have been used as trade chips.
The trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford from Boston required the Dodgers to surrender two top prospects, pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. While we await the long-term results, a Los Angeles Times survey of the 31 prospects traded by Colletti from 2005 to 2011 shows only two playing a significant role in this year's pennant races.
(Statistics through Friday's games)
SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN PENNANT RACES
Edwin Jackson, P: Washington Nationals starter: 9-10, 3.77.
Steve Johnson, P: Baltimore Orioles reliever: 3-0, 1.91.
ALSO IN MAJORS
Tony Abreu, IF: .306, 1 HR, 49 ABs for Kansas City Royals.
James McDonald, P: Removed from rotation by Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bryan Morris, P: September callup for Pirates.
Trayvon Robinson, OF: .218, 2 HRs, 124 ABs for Seattle Mariners.
Justin Ruggiano, OF: .312, 13 HRs, 14 SBs for Miami Marlins.
Carlos Santana, C: .252, 16 HRs, .778 OPS for Cleveland Indians.
MADE IT TO MAJORS
Willy Aybar, IF: Utilityman with Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays through 2010.
Josh Bell, IF: .195, 4 HRs, 272 ABs for Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks through 2012.
Travis Denker, IF: .243, 1 HR, 37 ABs for San Francisco Giants in 2008.
Blake DeWitt, IF: .251, 9 HRs, 443 ABs for Chicago Cubs in 2010-12.
Victor Garate, P: 4 games for 2009 Nationals.
Joel Guzman, IF: .243, 0 HR, 37 ABs for Tampa Bay Rays in 2007.
Andy LaRoche, IF: .228, 19 HRs for Pirates and Oakland Athletics through 2011.
Lucas May, C: .189, 0 HR, 37 ABs for Royals in 2010.
Jon Meloan, P: 8 games for Indians and Athletics through 2009.
Jhonny Nunez, P: 7 games for 2009 Chicago White Sox.
NEVER MADE IT TO MAJORS
Justin Fuller, IF: Got as high as triple A.
Luis Garcia, P: Got as high as Class A.
Blake Johnson, P: Got as high as triple A.
Andrew Lambo, OF: Got as high as triple A.
Sergio Pedroza, OF: Got as high as triple A.
Eduardo Perez, P: Got as high as Class A.
Elisaul Pimentel: Got as high as double A.
Julio Pimentel, P: Got as high as double A.
Kyle Smit, P: Got as high as triple A.
Chuck Tiffany, P: Got as high as double A.
Mike Watt, P: Got as high as triple A.
Brett Wallach, P: Got as high as Class A.
NEVER MADE IT BACK TO MAJORS
Steve Schmoll, P: That's it: 48 games for Dodgers in 2005.