In a crowded NL West division, it was imperative for the Los Angeles Dodgers to improve at the trade deadline. They did much more than that.
Less than a week ago, Ned Colletti and company made the biggest move of the summer, acquiring Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins.
The Dodgers clearly weren't done either, because on Tuesday, they made an attempt to out-do themselves (via MLB):
MLB (@MLB) July 31, 2012
Not only does this make the Dodgers the kings of the trade deadline, it makes them the kings of the Buy Low approach.
Are the Dodgers the ultimate winner of the trade deadline?
Ramirez, who finished second in MVP voting after a ridiculous 2009 season, has taken a step back the past couple of years. But if his first six games with L.A. are any indication (seven RBI, .520 SLG), the change of scenery is going to do him a lot of good.
Steal No. 1.
The same goes for Victorino.
The Flyin' Hawaiian has seen his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all decrease this season, but if he also finds new light with the Dodgers, look out.
Even if he doesn't get back to his 2011 numbers, Victorino is a huge upgrade, most notably at the leadoff spot (via ESPN Stats and Info):
Victorino may not be prototypical, but he's without a doubt a leadoff hitter.
No, he's not someone who is going to hit .300, but he walks just as much as he strikes out, has a career OBP of .342 and possesses the speed to rack up plenty of doubles, triples and steals.
In fact, over the past five full seasons, Victorino has averaged 29 doubles, 10 triples (he's led the league twice) and 30 stolen bases per season.
Not only does the 31-year-old make this lineup much more dangerous, he also brings superb defense. Victorino has won three gold gloves in center field, and en route to shoring up Los Angeles' inconsistent left field position, he'll improve a shaky defensive outfield.
Victorino is far from at the top of his game right now, but the soon-to-be free agent is a rental and he's the exact type of player the Dodgers needed.
For a middle reliever and a former first-round pick who has yet to plan out, you could do a lot less than someone who, at his ceiling, makes the Dodgers a legitimate World Series threat.
Steal No. 2.
When you go from underdog in the NL West race to one of the best teams in the league, I think you can consider the job well-done—done better than everyone else in the league, at that—for the trade deadline.