The Brewers swapped outfielders with the Reds on Monday, acquiring Chris Dickerson from the Reds for Jim Edmonds. Dickerson had a spy in the Brewers clubhouse who tipped him off to the deal two days ago.
That would be All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun, a fellow Los Angeles native who is a few years younger than Dickerson, 28, but has long shared a circle of friends. Braun sent a text message over the weekend when he heard the Brewers were close to dealing Edmonds.
“He kind of tipped me to what was going to happen,” Dickerson said. “Sure enough, he was right.”
Dickerson was the Reds’ 16th round Draft pick in 2003. Now he’s starting fresh.
“It’s strange,” Dickerson said. “It’s a weird feeling for anybody, especially the first time. Even talking to the GM today, he expressed that. I was drafted by the Reds and came up through their system, and it’s tough to [sever] the relationships that you have. It’s going to be different. I’ve been playing with [Joey] Votto for seven years. It’s a part of the game, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
“But the positive thing is that it’s a chance to start over and get an opportunity to play now that I’m healthy. I had success in my rehab stint and I’m ready to go.”
Dickerson hit the ground running in his Minor League rehabilitation assignment after spending his downtime looking at video of the game’s great hitters. He’s a left-handed hitter, so the list included Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres and Chase Utley of the Phillies, but it also included a right-handed hitter: Braun.
“He does so many things really well,” Dickerson said. “I looked at a lot of the game’s great hitters and compared my swing to theirs, and I took that down to Louisville with me and it worked out really well. My first game back went well and I think that gave me a lot of confidence. Then when I knew I was healthy, it snowballed from there.”
Dickerson, a natural center fielder who can play all three outfield positions, has not played since Tuesday because of a death in the family.