Dodgers trade Alex Castellanos to Red Sox for Jeremy Hazelbaker because … I don’t know

JeremyHazelbaker

The Dodgers traded outfielder Alex Castellanos to the Red Sox for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and cash. Castellanos was designated recently to clear room for Mike Baxter from the Mets.

This deal was done for the money, right? Of course, all that salary relief was essential for the Dodgers.

But seriously, who is Jeremy Hazelbaker? Well, SoxProspects.com gave him this evaluation:

Scouting Report: Outfielder with a filled-out athletic frame and plus speed. Hazelbaker had a breakout year at Ball State in 2009, showing an excellent ability to make contact. Turns on the ball well, drops the head of the bat on the ball nicely and creates good lift. Swing can be on the long side. Struggles with fastballs on the inner third. Solid-average power potential. Hit tools plays down due to poor recognition of secondary pitches. Has a lot of trouble with breaking balls and struggles against left-handed pitching. Hazelbaker gets out of the box well and has excellent instincts on the base paths. Improving with his reads and jumps. Potential impact runner on the bases. Defensively, Hazelbaker has above-average range, but tends to freeze on contact and takes poor routes to the ball. Does not see the ball well off the bat. Fringe-average arm strength. Speed to play center field, but profiles as a left fielder. Ceiling of a decent fourth outfielder, but may end up as an up-and-down player due to pitch recognition.

He’ll be going into his age 26 season next year, and he hit .257/.313/.374/.687 in AAA in 2013, but has been better in the past. Still, he’s basically a non-prospect, but one that has speed and some pop.

I don’t quite get the sequence of moves for the 40-man roster, primarily because neither Baxter nor Hazelbaker is necessarily an improvement over Castellanos, and I don’t think Castellanos was in any danger of getting picked up or leaving. I guess Hazelbaker is a warm body, but did they really need one that badly? As if Baxter was some catch? I would understand it if either could play center field, perhaps as potential emergency backups for Matt Kemp in 2014, but both profile at the corner.

None of this is likely to matter in the long-run, but it’s still confusing to me.

You can follow Hazelbaker on Twitter here.

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