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Dodgers send Trayvon Robinson to Red Sox, world still rotates

July 31, 2011 |  3:11 pm

Trayvon-robinson_600

Say what? Ah, really, it ain’t so bad.

In a three-way deal at the trade deadline, the Dodgers sent outfield prospect Trayvon Robinson to the Boston Red Sox for three prospects.

Robinson had been triple-A Albuquerque’s most productive player this season, hitting 26 home runs with 71 runs batted in and batting .293. Some considered him a strong candidate to win the starting left-field spot for the Dodgers next season, though I never bought it. He clearly wasn’t good enough to make a bad Dodgers team this season.

In return for Robinson, the Red Sox sent the Dodgers minor league catcher Tim Federowicz, and right-handed pitchers Stephen Fife and Juan Rodriguez.

The Red Sox then sent Robinson and an infield-outfield prospect to the Seattle Mariners for starter Erik Bedard.

The Dodgers lack promising catchers in their system, and Federowicz was the linchpin in the deal for them. You can argue how much of a prospect Federowicz actually is, but he is a catcher and a prospect. And they are seriously lacking in those.

"We’ve been on Tim for awhile," General Manager Ned Colletti said. "We need catchers.

"When you look at the catching in the game, it’s tough to find. This gives us another opportunity."

Going into the season, Baseball America ranked Federowicz as Boston’s 21st top prospect. That was five spots behind triple-A catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, one round ahead of Federowicz.

Federowicz, who turns 24 next  week, was playing for Boston’s double-A Portland team, batting .275 with a .337 on-base percentage and .397 slugging percentage (7 HRs, 50 RBIs).

Apparently, Colletti couldn’t entice the Red Sox to deal Lavarnway, the more promising catcher (.348, .426, .683). Colletti said Federowicz would be assigned to Albuquerque.

"He’s somebody we have watched a lot," he said. "He’s a good defensive player and leader. Offensively, still a work in progress."

Sounds a lot like A.J. Ellis.

Colletti said Federowicz would have a chance to make the team next season.

Colletti said Fife would head to double-A Chattanooga and Rodriguez to Class-A Great Lakes. Rodriguez is a hard thrower whom Colletti projects as a possible seventh- or eighth-inning reliever.

All the moaning on the web comes because of Robinson, the 23-year-old outfielder from Crenshaw High. But Robinson always seemed like something of a tweener prospect and the Dodgers clearly had no plans for him.

"Trayvon Robinson has a chance to have a good career," Colletti said.

Of course, Jerry Sands is the more serious outfield prospect, so the Dodgers elected to take a flier on another team’s catching prospect. And that ain’t all that bad. You just wonder why they couldn't have traded Robinson straight up for Lavarnway.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers prospect Trayvon Robinson (21) high-fives former Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez during a rehab game with the Inland Empire 66ers. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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