The Dodgers acquired second baseman Howie Kendrick from the Los Angeles Angels and were working to obtain shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies in a remake of their middle infield.
In a flurry of moves late Wednesday, the Dodgers dealt All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, right-hander Dan Haren, infielder Miguel Rojas and a player to be named or cash to the Miami Marlins as part of a seven-player trade for left-hander Andrew Heaney, right-hander Chris Hatcher, infielder Enrique Hernandez and catcher Austin Barnes.
The Dodgers then sent Heaney, considered one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, to the Angels for Kendrick.
The 31-year-old Kendrick, an All-Star in 2011, has spent all nine of his big-league seasons with the Angels. He hit .293 this year with seven homers, 75 RBI and 14 steals. Kendrick has a $9.5 million salary next year and then can become a free agent.
The Dodgers were not yet ready to finalize a trade with the Phillies for Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP. The 36-year-old has spent his entire 15-year career with the Phillies, becoming a three-time All-Star and helping Philadelphia win the 2008 World Series title.
Rollins hit .243 last season with 17 homers and 55 RBI. He would take over at shortstop from Hanley Ramirez, who left Los Angeles as a free agent for an $88 million, four-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Rollins is owed $11 million next season in the final season of a contract that started in 2012. As a 10-year veteran who had spent five seasons with his current team, Rollins cannot be traded without his consent
A speedy middle infielder, Gordon is coming off his best season. The 26-year-old led the major leagues with 12 triples and 64 stolen bases, mostly batting leadoff for the Dodgers. He hit .289 with two homers, 92 runs, 34 RBI and a .329 on-base percentage. In parts of four seasons, he’s a .272 hitter with 130 steals and 173 runs.
He joins a batting order that includes NL home run champion Giancarlo Stanton, given a record $325 million, 13-year contract.
"Our goal was to add another bat. Dee wasn’t exactly the bat we were expecting to add," Marlins general manager Mike Hill said. "But when you can access that type of game-changing speed, for who we are, we just thought it made a lot of sense."
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria called it "lightning and thunder."
"It’s going to be a lot of fun," he said after using an old-fashioned flip phone to take photos of Hill holding a news conference in the lobby of the Winter Meetings hotel. "All we’ve got to do is play well and start to win, and people will be responsive."
Haren went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA as the NL West champion Dodgers’ No. 4 starter. He is owed $11 million for next season and said last month he might retire if traded away from the area.
"I’m taking my talents to bed. Long day," he tweeted.
Hernandez made his big-league debut this year, playing 42 games for Houston and Miami. He hit .248 in 42 games with three homers and 14 RBI.
Hatcher has appeared in 81 games over four seasons and is 0-4 with a 4.80 ERA.
Heaney, a 23-year-old left-hander, made his big-league debut for the Marlins in June and was 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances. He humorously tweeted:
Barnes, 24, split the season between Class A and Double-A.
The southern California neighbors made their second swap in two days. On Tuesday, the Angels received catcher Drew Butera from the Dodgers for a player to be named or cash.
After five straight NL East titles from 2007-11, the Phillies dropped to .500 in 2012, then to 73-89 records in each of the last two seasons. Philadelphia finally seems ready to jettison some of its old core and start rebuilding.