Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Rumors: Latest Updates and Reaction
The Los Angeles Dodgers weren't expected to contend in 2012, but they've been leading the NL West for much of the season and they're primed for a strong second half with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier due to return from the disabled list.
General manager Ned Colletti won't be resting on his laurels over the next couple weeks, however. His team has holes that need patching, and he's now backed by an ownership group that very much wants the team to see its hot start through to October.
The Dodgers are going to be active during deadline season. They'll be linked to numerous teams and numerous players, some of whom bear pretty big names.
For all the latest Dodgers trade rumors and reaction, check back here periodically for updates. The latest news will be right up front.
Dodgers and Cubs Finally Closing in on Ryan Dempster Deal?
Posted: Tuesday, July 31 at 12:25 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have acquired Shane Victorino, thus filling their need for an everyday left fielder and a leadoff man.
Their need for starting rotation depth remains, but perhaps not for long. Here's the latest from ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Cubs and Dodgers finally closing in on the Dempster deal according to a source close to the negotiations— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 31, 2012
It was just a matter of time before a tweet like this came out. The Cubs and Dodgers have been in a stalemate over Dempster for a few days now, but the odds of the Cubs holding on to Dempster were always slim. All the Dodgers had to do was wait them out.
The question is how much the Dodgers are willing to give up, and they may not be willing to give up much now that we know that Alfonso Soriano is no longer in play. A deal between the Dodgers and Cubs will only involve Dempster, and the Dodgers have made it clear that they don't think he's worth all that much.
The two clubs have a little over three hours to get this deal done. I'd put the odds of it getting done right around 2-1.
Additional Update: Tuesday, July 31 at 2:05 p.m. ET
There are two hours to go until the trade deadline, and now it sounds like talks between the Dodgers and Cubs are breaking down.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the Dodgers are not alone in the Dempster sweepstakes:
The Cubs could be trying to gain some much-needed leverage in their talks with the Dodgers, or they could be serious about dealing Demspter elsewhere.
The issue with that is that there's precious little time remaining until the deadline, and it's obvious that the Cubs have spent a lot more time talking to the Dodgers about Dempster than they have talking to other teams about him.
This thing may not get done until the buzzer.
DODGERS ARE OUT: Tuesday, July 31 at 3:50 p.m. ET
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers will not be trading for Ryan Dempster:
Source: the #Dodgers are out on Ryan Dempster.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) July 31, 2012
If you're curious to hear how this happens, you're not alone. I am too. The Dodgers seemed to have Dempster in the bag.
Maybe Colletti took the hardball stuff a little too far? That's my guess.
Dodgers Acquire Shane Victorino
Posted: Tuesday, July 31 at 11:30 a.m. ET
It looks like the Dodgers are going to land a new left fielder on deadline day.
ESPN's Jayson Stark says talks are centered around Josh Lindblom:
This deal would make sense for the Dodgers because Lindblom was made expendable by the club's acquisition of Brandon League late on Monday night. It also makes sense for the Phillies, who desperately need bullpen help.
The deal isn't final yet, but it sounds like it soon will be.
When it is final, the Dodgers can go ahead and cross Alfonso Soriano off their wish list. They won't be going after him if they already have Victorino penciled in as their starter in left field down the stretch.
They'll probably still be in on Ryan Dempster, though. Stay tuned.
Done Deal: Tuesday, July 31 at 12:05 p.m. ET
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the deal is done:
Phillies have traded Victorino to Dodgers for Lindblom and Ethan martin— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 31, 2012
In Lindblom, the Phillies are getting 25-year-old reliever who has a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season. Martin has a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts for Double-A Chattanooga.
The Dodgers are getting an everyday left fielder who they can bat at the top of their lineup. Victorino may be having a down year, but his .724 OPS represents a massive upgrade for a Dodgers team that has gotten a .554 OPS out of its leadoff hitters this season.
Dodgers Acquire Brandon League
Posted: Tuesday, July 31 at 1:15 a.m. ET
The Dodgers have made a trade for a right-handed pitcher, and they didn't have to give up top prospects to get him.
League has already made 46 appearances this season, posting a 3.63 ERA.
League was an All-Star in 2011, ultimately finishing with a 2.79 ERA and 37 saves. He posted a career-high 4.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
That number has taken a dive this season, as League's K/BB checks in at a mere 1.42. He's walking nearly four batters for every nine innings pitched.
Still, the Dodgers were looking for bullpen depth and now they have some. This also gives them the opportunity to trade one of their young relievers, such as Josh Lindblom, for a veteran player.
Either way, a good pick-up for the Dodgers.
Updates on Ryan Dempster, Alfonso Soriano
Posted: Monday, July 30 at 1:45 p.m. ET
The Cubs want to trade Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers want to trade for him.
Clearly, things shouldn't be so complicated. But my goodness, are they complicated.
The discussions between the Cubs and the Dodgers regarding Dempster have been stuck in a stalemate for a few days now. Both sides know where the other stands, and neither side is willing to budge.
But according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the talks are still ongoing:
Meantime, the Cubs-Dodgers talks regarding Dempster trundle along. They're still at it...— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 30, 2012
And for the record, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that Alfonso Soriano is still in play for the Dodgers in the Dempster talks:
In other words, the status quo is holding. The Dodgers are trying to squeeze whatever they can out of the Cubs.
In this case, what Ned Colletti is trying to do is kill two birds with one stone. His club needs both starting pitching depth and a power-hitting left fielder. He won't be able to do better than Dempster/Soriano combination to solve these problems.
He has roughly 24 hours to figure the situation out.
Additional Update: Monday, July 30 at 3:15 p.m. ET
Well, this is a good sign.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Dempster negotiations between the Dodgers and Cubs are gaining momentum.
That's about all the report has to offer, but it's fair to speculate that one of the clubs got the ball moving out of desperation. I for one think that would have to be the Cubs, as the last thing they want to do is hold on to Dempster beyond the trade deadline. They want to get something for him while they can.
The writing is on the wall that they'll have to settle for less than what they perceive to be fair value if they choose to deal with the Dodgers. It's therefore worth noting that ESPN's Jayson Stark says that the Nationals have positioned themselves as a perfect fallback option if the Cubs can't get something done with the Dodgers.
For the first time in a few days, the situation is fluid.
Additional Update: Monday, July 30 at 4:40 p.m. ET
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has heard that a few select prospects are off the table in the Dempster talks:
Heard that Zach Lee, Allen Webster and Chris Reed are all off the table in any Dempster talks.— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) July 30, 2012
According to Baseball America, Lee, Webster and Reed are the Dodgers' No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 prospects, respectively.
Additional Update No. 2: Monday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Maybe all this talk of negotiations between the Dodgers and Cubs picking up steam is overblown. ESPN's Buster Olney has heard otherwise:
Alfonso Soriano has been part of Ryan Dempster talks for days, but there hasn't been any recent dialogue between LAD/Cubs.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2012
Once again, we're left with the impression that both sides are staying the course.
Additional Update No. 3: Monday, July 30 at 9:35 p.m. ET
Contrary to what Olney had to say, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says that the Dodgers and Cubs are still talking:
The important part is that the deal isn't done yet. Beyond that, I'm done trying to decipher the situation.
Dodgers Circling Shane Victorino
Posted: Sunday, July 29 at 11:05 p.m. ET
But Ned Colletti isn't about to rest on his laurels. He still has a hole in left field to fill, and one of the guys he's still considering to fill it is Shane Victorino.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, trade buzz surrounding Victorino picked up on Saturday. The Phillies are starting to take trade talks involving Victorino more seriously than they have in days and weeks gone by.
The Dodgers are interested, and Salisbury notes that they scouted the Phillies this weekend.
The price for Victorino won't be too high seeing as how he's having a down year and is a free agent at the end of the season. Even still, one wonders if the Dodgers are willing to pay any price for Victorino after their sweep of the Giants. They're not as desperate as they would have been after a series loss or a sweep at the hands of their biggest rivals.
But we'll see. Colletti could be in a mood to go for a swift kill, and he's certainly got the resources to make a deal for Victorino. With him at the top of their lineup, the Dodgers would find themselves with a formidable offense.
Additional Update: Monday, July 30 at 4:40 p.m. ET
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says that the Dodgers are talking to the Phillies about both Victorino and Hunter Pence. He says they're more likely to land Victorino, and he hints that they're only talking about Pence because the Giants are talking about him.
Ned Colletti could be more interested in jacking up Pence's price than he is in actually acquiring him.
Latest on Dodgers' Search for Bats
Posted: Monday, July 30 at 12:05 p.m. ET
The Dodgers swept the Giants in San Francisco this weekend, but they're not about to back off in the final hours remaining until the trade deadline. They're still looking for reinforcements.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Dodgers "appear" to be interested in Morneau, whose .457 slugging percentage is significantly higher than James Loney's .338 slugging percentage. The Dodgers can definitely afford Morneau, who has about $19 million left on his contract through next season.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports tweeted on Monday that the Dodgers are also interested in Choo, who has an .862 OPS this season. He has a .923 OPS when batting leadoff.
The Indians are in no hurry to move Choo, however. ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Indians will need to get a "perfect offer" to make it happen. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has reported that a trade for Choo would require a good major leaguer with less than three years or service time.
Players such as those are hard to come by, and the Dodgers are very short on options in that regard.
Between these two players, Morneau is more likely to be traded. The Twins want his contract off their hands, and he's shown this season that he can still hit a little bit.
Additional Update: Monday, July 30 at 3:15 p.m. ET
Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are no longer a fit for Morneau:
The Twins apparently want a young, major league-ready starting pitcher, so Rosenthal has a point.
Latest on Dodgers' Hunt for Starting Pitching
Posted: Sunday, July 29 at 11:25 p.m. ET
We know the Dodgers aren't getting Zack Greinke or Francisco Liriano. The club is at an impasse in its negotiations with the Cubs involving Ryan Dempster, and Matt Garza is hurt.
That leaves two primary options: Miami's Josh Johnson and Tampa Bay's James Shields.
The problem, naturally, is that the Marlins' asking price for Johnson is said to be through the roof. They want a Mark Teixeira-esque package for him, and the Dodgers don't have the prospects to make a deal like that. If the Marlins can't get a deal like that, there's no reason for them to deal Johnson seeing as how he's under contract through the 2013 season.
As for Shields, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Dodgers are among the "most interested" suitors for Shields, who has a 4.52 ERA this season.
The dilemma the Rays are facing is that they're not out of it yet. They just took two of three from the Angels, beating Greinke in the process, and are just two games out in the AL wild card race. With Evan Longoria on the comeback trail, the Rays don't need to sell.
One thing that's for sure is that it will be easier to acquire Shields than it will be to acquire Johnson. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Rays want a "north of Greinke" package for Shields, but that's still less than a Teixeira-like package.
You still get the sense that Dempster is the most reasonable option for the Dodgers. But if they go big, it wouldn't be a shock to see them end up with Shields.
Dodgers Have Turned to Josh Johnson and James Shields
Posted: Friday, July 27 at 4:10 p.m. ET
The Dodgers are still interested in acquiring Chicago Cubs righty Ryan Dempster, but their talks with the Cubs have reached an impasse.
Heyman says the Dodgers may also take a look at Zack Greinke, but they don't appear to be a fit for him because he's a rental and because they don't have the pieces to make a deal.
Johnson and Shields can be controlled beyond this season. Johnson has another year left on his contract, and Shields has options in 2013 and 2014 at reasonable prices (for the Dodgers, anyway).
There's no guarantee that the Marlins will trade Johnson. If they do, they're going to demand a monstrous package of prospects in return. Shields can be had for less, but he won't come cheap either.
So Dempster still appears to be the most logical option for the Dodgers. The question now is if another team is going to come along and make a better offer for him than the Dodgers.
And Dempster could always change his mind about where he wants to be traded. According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, Dempster has decided that he will weigh other options besides the Dodgers if the Cubs come to him with a deal in place.
Additional Update: Friday, July 27 at 6:35 p.m. ET
For what it's worth, ESPN's Jayson Stark says that Dempster to the Dodgers is still alive:
Dempster to Dodgers isn't dead. But heard from other clubs that LA is also in on Josh Johnson & waiting to see if price drops on Shields— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 27, 2012
Sounds like the Dodgers have gone into holding pattern mode.
Additional Update No. 2: Friday, July 27 at 9:15 p.m. ET
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Dodgers are discussing a deal for Dempster involving Josh Lindblom:
He then tweeted that a second source said that the Lindblom rumor is "completely unfounded."
OK, then. Sounds like the status quo is holding.
Dodgers Trying to Land Alfonso Soriano or Bryan LaHair in Dempster Deal
Posted: Friday, July 27 at 2:45 p.m. ET
As of yet, the Dodgers and Cubs have yet to agree on a trade that would send Ryan Dempster to Los Angeles, his desired destination.
It sounds like this may be because the Dodgers are trying to raid the Cubs of a couple key bats as well.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Dodgers and Cubs have discussed the idea of sending either Alfonso Soriano or Bryan LaHair to LA along with Dempster. One source described the notion of the Dodgers getting either one of them as a "massive longshot," however.
Still, it's no secret that the Cubs are desperate to get rid of Soriano's contract, which has $48 million remaining on it. The Dodgers just picked up Hanley Ramirez's contract, and they could do the same with Soriano if they think he's the perfect solution to their left field woes.
Soriano gets a bad rap, but he's hitting .286 with a .952 OPS and 19 home runs since the middle of May.
As for LaHair, the Cubs are probably wishing they had traded him earlier in the season when his value was at its highest. He's hitting .224 with a .629 OPS since early May.
LaHair is a fit for the Dodgers because he could play at first base, where James Loney has provided the club with little power this season.
The Cubs don't have any leverage in talks with the Dodgers as far as Dempster is concerned. He robbed them of whatever leverage they had when he vetoed a trade to the Braves earlier this week. What Ned Colletti is doing is trying to squeeze whatever he can out of the Cubs.
If he can get Dempster and Soriano, he'll have scored a massive victory.
Additional Update: Friday, July 27 at 4:00 p.m. ET
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, talks between the Dodgers and Cubs have reached a stalemate:
We've reached the point on Dempster LAD-CHC talks where both sides know what the other wants to do. Now we'll see if something changes.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 27, 2012
Round and round the rumor mill turns. Where it'll stop, nobody knows.
The Latest on Ryan Dempster
Posted: Thursday, July 26 at 3:50 p.m. ET
For the moment, Ryan Dempster is still a member of the Chicago Cubs. When this is going to change is anybody's guess.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com wrote on Thursday that the situation is a complicated one. The Cubs had a good trade in place when they struck a deal to send Dempster to the Atlanta Braves earlier this week, but Dempster nixed it using his 10-5 rights. In doing so, he effectively robbed the Cubs of whatever leverage they had.
Dempster wants to play for the Dodgers, and both the Cubs and the Dodgers know that. The Cubs can basically only do business with the Dodgers, and that's making it hard for them to get what they want in a trade.
The one card the Cubs have to play is the threat of holding on to Dempster and then making him a qualifying offer at the end of the season. However, Rosenthal notes that that plan could backfire. Dempster could accept the offer.
Instead of having him around for another year at $12 million, the Cubs would rather get a draft pick and move on with their youth movement.
So they pretty much have to trade Dempster to the Dodgers, which explains this report from ESPN's Jayson Stark:
Of course they're optimistic. Dempster is basically theirs to lose.
Additional Update: Thursday, July 26 at 6:25 p.m. ET
David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com says progress is being made, but that another team or two may need to be brought in to get something done:
Cubs moving closer to sending Dempster to Dodgers. Sources tell me various trades being discussed including a multi team deal. Blog shortly.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 26, 2012
Ken Rosenthal has also tweeted that a deal might get done pretty soon.
Additional Update No. 2: Thursday, July 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that the Cubs offered Dempster for Dodgers' righty pitching prospect Allen Webster straight up, but that the Dodgers rejected it.
The reason why they rejected that proposal is a curious one. Heyman says that the Dodgers don't think as highly of Dempster as he thinks of them. They may prefer Matt Garza.
Or, as Heyman notes, the Dodgers may just be playing hardball because they know they have a ton of leverage and the Cubs have, well, none. Right now, the Dodgers are trying to land Dempster for a couple of lesser pitching prospects.
Welcome to deadline season. Fun for the whole family.
Dodgers Not Actively Pursuing Zack Greinke
Posted: Thursday, July 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET
In the last few weeks, the Dodgers have been linked to a lot of trade targets. It was a little too easy to ask how the heck the Dodgers were going to be able to afford some of them.
Zack Greinke comes to mind. The Brewers are going to ask for the moon for Greinke in a trade, and the Dodgers don't have a moon to offer. All they have are pitching prospects that baseball people seem to be lukewarm on.
Well, it sounds like we can cross Greinke off the list completely. Here's the latest from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com:
This is not a surprise. Not even in the slightest.
The Dodgers seem to be focused entirely on Ryan Dempster right now, so it's at least possible that they're not targeting Greinke simply because they're too busy with Dempster.
More likely, though, the Dodgers aren't targeting Greinke because they know they can't get him. They're not going to waste their time.
This is not to say Greinke wouldn't be worth the trouble. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. He's just out of the Dodgers' league.
Dodgers Have Made an Offer for James Shields
Posted: Thursday, July 26 at 12:55 p.m. ET
The Dodgers are in on just about every starting pitcher on the trade market at the moment, and that includes Tampa Bay Rays veteran righty James Shields.
The word from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is that the Dodgers have made the Rays an offer for Shields, who has an 8-6 record and 4.39 ERA in 21 starts.
They're not alone in that regard, though. The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels have also made offers for Shields. The Angels have apparently discussed a package involving Peter Bourjos with the Rays.
Heyman says that the Dodgers are focused primarily on Ryan Dempster, who wants to go to LA just as much as the Dodgers want to acquire him, if not more. The Dodgers are also still in on Matt Garza.
Still, Shields makes perfect sense for the Dodgers. He's not the kind of pitcher who will cost them an arm and a leg in a trade, a la Zack Greinke, and he's a pitcher the Dodgers can control through 2014 at reasonable prices. Shields has a $9 million team option next season, and a $12 million team option in 2014.
For the Dodgers, those figures are not at all intimidating. They have a ton of money to spend, and they just demonstrated their willingness to spend it by agreeing to take on what's left of Hanley Ramirez's contract.
The issue here is that the Rangers and Angels can probably both outbid the Dodgers if it comes to it. The Dodgers may have to settle for Dempster.
Not that that would be a bad thing. He does, after all, have a 2.25 ERA.
Additional Update: Thursday, July 26 at 3:40 p.m. ET
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says that the Dodgers are more likely to trade for Dempster or Garza than Shields:
Dodgers still thought more likely for Dempster or (if he shows he's healthy) Garza. But they've scouted Shields, are interested.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 26, 2012
Not much of a surprise. Dempster is the cheapest of the three options, and Garza will probably come cheaper than Shields.
Jayson Stark on the Dodgers
Posted: Wednesday, July 25 at 4:40 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have traded for Hanley Ramirez, but Jayson Stark of ESPN says they're far from finished making deals.
The Dodgers still want to add a starting pitcher, and they're considering a long list of options to that end. We know Ryan Dempster is on it, and they're also considering Matt Garza, James Shields (pictured), Jason Vargas, Ricky Nolasco, Joe Blanton and Kevin Millwood.
The club would prefer it if Allen Webster was the key piece in any deal for a pitcher, but they're also posturing by saying they could just call him up instead.
...Unless they get a pitcher who they can control beyond this season.
The Dodgers are still looking at bats as well, mainly left fielders and first baseman.
The club made it clear with its acquisition of Ramirez that it's more than willing to spend money to take on bad contracts, and that makes them an ideal trading partner for a lot of clubs. If they can spend money instead of shipping off top prospects, they'll do that.
Remember the Frank McCourt days? Yeah, those are over.
Dodgers Still in on Shane Victorino, Also Hunter Pence
Posted: Wednesday, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have acquired Hanley Ramirez, but they may not be done adding bats. They still have a hole in left field to patch up.
The Victorino name drop is no surprise. The Dodgers have been linked to him since the dawn of time.
Pence, on the other hand...
It was just yesterday that Rosenthal reported that the Phillies were "eager" to trade Pence, and this was before they locked up Cole Hamels to a $144 million extension. Shedding payroll is now in Philly's best interest.
That bodes well for the Dodgers, who have made it abundantly clear that they're willing to spend. They can afford Pence this year, and they'll be able to afford the $15 million or so he's going to earn in arbitration this winter.
The problem, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN, is that the Phillies are asking for the moon for Pence. The Dodgers don't have a spare moon.
So it's more likely that they'll get Victorino, who can be had a lot cheaper than Pence.
Additional Update: Wednesday, July 25 at 6:45 p.m. ET
Jim Bowden of ESPN has a couple updates to pass along regarding the Dodgers' pursuit of Victorino. He says that the Phillies are looking for bullpen help in exchange for Victorino:
Phillies trying to move Victorino for bullpen help, realize they will have to pay some of his contract...Dodgers/Reds continue talks w/Phils— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 25, 2012
Bowden also has specifics for what a Dodgers-Phillies trade could end up being:
Phillies interested in Victorino-Ondrusek deal with Reds or Victornio-Lindblom deal with Dodgers— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 25, 2012
Before the start of the season, Baseball America had Lindblom rated as the Dodgers' No. 8 prospect. He's having a solid year with the big club, as he's posted a 3.18 ERA in 45 appearances.
Latest on Ryan Dempster, Zack Greinke, Josh Johnson
Posted: Wednesday, July 25 at 1:10 p.m. ET
The Dodgers bolstered the left side of their infield by adding Hanley Ramirez in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Now all they have to do is shore up their starting rotation, something that they've been trying to do for some time now.
Dempster's desire to play in LA leaves the Cubs with little leverage, and it's been noted by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and others that the Dodgers have the upper hand in the Dempster negotiations.
This doesn't mean the Cubs have to take what they can get for him, though. As noted by ESPN's Buster Olney, the Cubs can always keep Dempster and present him with a qualifying offer after the season:
As of now, Cubs' plan is to keep Dempster and make qualifying offer to get a draft pick -- unless offers improve. Not close to LAD deal yet.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2012
MLBTradeRumors.com put together a helpful breakdown of the new qualifying offer system. If Dempster rejects the Cubs' qualifying offer, which will be worth about $12 or $13 million for one year, they'll get a compensatory draft pick.
It's not much, but it's better than nothing. And honestly, it's about all the leverage they have right now.
If the Dodgers would rather not play this game with the Cubs, they could set their sights a little higher. Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com notes that they have other targets on their radar:
If #Dodgers can't complete deal for Dempster, they have Zack Greinke and Josh Johnson on their list, as well, sources say.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 25, 2012
Like Dempster, Greinke is a free-agent-to-be. Johnson, on the other hand, is locked up through the 2013 season.
It will take an impressive package of prospects to land either pitcher, but the Dodgers are probably be more inclined to pay the price for Johnson than Greinke because of the extra year on Johnson's contract.
We shall see. One thing that's for sure is that the Dodgers are not done dealing yet.
Dodgers Acquire Hanley Ramirez
Posted: Wednesday, July 25 at 2:45 a.m. ET
The Dodgers have needed a big bat on the left side of their infield all season long.
They've found one. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the big news:
Source: Dodgers have acquired Hanley Ramirez and Choate from Marlins for Eovaldi and a minor leaguer. Game changes in LA. Marlins selling.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 25, 2012
The deal has also been reported by Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com.
Ramirez is having a down year compared to where he was a couple years ago, as he's only hitting .246/.322/.430 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI. The Marlins were hoping for him to go back to being a superstar this season, but those hopes never panned out.
The Dodgers are obviously hoping that a change of scenery will get Ramirez going again. He'll likely take over at third base, and will bat in the middle of a lineup that features Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
A word of warning, though: On the road this season, Ramirez is only hitting .187/.251/.363. By comparison, he's hit over .300 with a .494 slugging percentage at Marlins Park.
The Dodgers are gambling with this trade, but it's a gamble well worth making. If Ramirez is energized playing in LA, the Dodgers' lineup is going to get a huge boost.
To boot, he'll be around next year and in 2014 too. The Dodgers are also getting a stud left-hander in this deal, which is something else that they needed.
What we don't know is what kind of agreement the Dodgers and Marlins came to concerning Ramirez's contract, which has over $30 million left on it after this season.
Stay tuned for more on that. For the time being, there's no denying that the Dodgers are serious about winning this year.
Additional Update: Wednesday, July 25 at 2:55 a.m. ET
Jon Paul Morosi has caught wind of the prospect that the Dodgers are sending to Miami in this deal:
Scott McGough is prospect in the deal, sources tell FOXSports.com.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 25, 2012
McGough has an ERA of 3.88 in 34 appearances with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He's struck out 47 in 46.1 innings.
Additional Update No. 2: Wednesday, July 25 at 3:00 a.m. ET
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that there is no money going from Miami to Los Angeles:
This means that the Dodgers are picking up the rest of the tab. The Marlins have rid themselves of a problematic player and an albatross of a contract. Not a bad move on their end. And as I said, worth the risk on the Dodgers' end.
Ryan Dempster Wants to Play for the Dodgers
Posted: Tuesday, July 24 at 4:45 p.m. ET
Except they didn't. A deal between the two clubs was widely reported, but Dempster denied that a trade had taken place and Cubs manager Dale Sveum accused the media of making it all up.
Yeah, it was weird.
Thanks to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, we now know that there's a reason the trade didn't go down. It turns out that Dempster would rather play for the Dodgers than the Braves.
This doesn't come as a huge shock, as the Dodgers were rumored to be Dempster's first choice. And since he has 10-5 rights, it is ultimately up to him to decide where he'll be pitching for the rest of the season.
The tricky part is that the Dodgers and Cubs tried to strike a deal involving Dempster, but ultimately failed. The Dodgers have since turned their attention to Matt Garza (the rest of this slideshow has the details littered throughout).
For Dempster to end up in LA, trade talks between the Dodgers and Cubs will have to be rekindled. If the Cubs are getting signals from Dempster that he'll only approve a trade to the Dodgers, the Cubs may have no choice but to settle for whatever the Dodgers are willing to offer.
It's an awkward situation all the way around. Stay tuned.
Additional Update: Tuesday, July 24 at 6:50 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have re-engaged the Cubs in talks about Dempster. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has the latest update:
While Dodgers are talking Dempster again, sources say they're holding out on including top prospect Zach Lee in that deal.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 24, 2012
The Dodgers have really put their foot down here. They may be willing to surrender Lee for Garza, but not for a rental like Dempster.
The Cubs may have to settle here. It all depends on how flexible Dempster is willing to be.
Additional Update No. 2: Tuesday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Things are getting interesting. Here's the latest from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com:
Needless to say, good news for the Dodgers.
Additional Update No. 3: Wednesday, July 25 at 1:00 a.m. ET
The Cubs have made a demand. Jon Paul Morosi has the latest:
Before the start of the season, Baseball America had Webster ranked as the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect behind Lee. Webster has a 4.06 ERA with Double-A Chattanooga.
Dodgers Interested in Hanley Ramirez
Posted: Tuesday, July 24 at 3:35 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have been rumored to be eyeing various third basemen and shortstops, so this latest rumor should come as no big surprise.
Here it is, straight from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com:
Those numbers are disappointing, but they'd represent a huge upgrade for the Dodgers. Their third basemen have hit .246 with a .675 OPS this season. Their shortstops have hit .232 with a .605 OPS.
What's intriguing about the Dodgers as a fit for Ramirez is that they can afford to to take on what's left of Ramirez's contract, which will pay him over $30 million in 2013 and 2014. If they offer to take on the whole thing, they won't have to send that many minor league assets to Miami.
That gives them a significant edge over the A's, Jays and Orioles, who will likely ask the Marlins to eat some of Ramirez's contract.
For now, there's no telling how interested the Dodgers are. They should, however, be very interested.
Additional Update: Tuesday, July 24 at 5:50 p.m. ET
Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted on Twitter that the Marlins are hoping to hear from the Dodgers:
It would seem that the Marlins are well aware of the Dodgers' needs, not to mention the organization's deep pockets.
Dodgers Discussing Matt Garza for Zach Lee Trade with Cubs
Posted: Monday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Had the Dodgers offered the Cubs Zach Lee in exchange for Ryan Dempster, the Cubs probably would have done that deal in a heartbeat.
The Dodgers, apparently, would much rather trade Lee for Matt Garza. Here's the latest from ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Cubs not resting on their laurels continue trade discussions with Dodgers on deal that would send Matt Garza for package including Zach Lee— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 23, 2012
This would have sounded like a reasonable idea a couple days ago. But now, dealing Lee for Garza would be a risky play.
This has everything to do with what happened to Garza in his most recent start against the Cardinals on Saturday. He had to leave after just three innings with a sore elbow, which is never a good sign.
The word from the Chicago Sun-Times is that Garza may be able to avoid going on the disabled list, but he may not be able to make his next start either. Until further notice, he qualifies as damaged goods out on the trade market.
Though Lee has struggled in recent outings with Double-A Chattanooga, he still has the distinction of being the top prospect in the Dodgers organization according to Baseball America. He's not a prospect the Dodgers should be quick to part with, yet they're considering dealing him for an up-and-down righty pitcher with a bum elbow.
We'll see what happens. If this deal gets done, it could end up back-firing in a major way.
Dodgers and Phillies Have Discussed Shane Victorino
Posted: Monday, July 23 at 2:25 p.m. ET
The Dodgers could use an upgrade in left field, as their left fielders have combined to hit just .239 with a .333 slugging percentage this season.
One of the names the Dodgers have been linked to is that of Shane Victorino. Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com has the latest on that front:
No surprise here. The real shocker would be if a report came out that the Dodgers and Phillies haven't discussed anything yet.
The issue is that the Dodgers don't have a ton of assets to deal. Ned Colletti has to tread carefully, and he's already shown that he's not overly desperate to give away what he has for the sake of boosting the Dodgers' chances of winning this season. If he was desperate, he would have given the Cubs what they wanted for Ryan Dempster.
Victorino's value is pretty low at the moment. He's going to be a free agent at the end of the season, and the Phillies can't demand an arm and a leg for him seeing as how he's hitting just .253 with a .704 OPS this season.
The Dodgers can probably get him, but the issue is whether they'd rather have Victorino or a quality starting pitcher. They probably won't be able to get both.
Ryan Dempster a Longshot
Posted: Saturday, July 21 at 12:20 p.m. ET
Late on Thursday night, we learned that the Dodgers had made the Cubs an offer for Ryan Dempster. Then came a report that the chances of a deal getting done between the two clubs was around 50/50.
Now, there may be no chance of a deal getting done.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com:
Sounds to me like the Dodgers didn't want to give up the prospects the Cubs were asking for.
If the asking price is that high, then the Dodgers are right to turn their attention to Garza instead. His numbers aren't as flashy as Dempster's, but the fact that he's under club control through 2013 does boost his value higher than that of Dempster.
The issue is that plenty of other clubs are interested in Garza as well for that exact same reason, and the Dodgers may not have enough in their system to make the Cubs the best offer for him. The Dodgers have some good young pitchers, but their farm system is pretty shallow.
The Dodgers are going to make at least one noteworthy trade in the next 10 days. As for who they'll get, well, that's anybody's guess.
Additional Update: Saturday, July 21 at 8:35 p.m. ET
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that the Dodgers have shifted their focus off of Dempster and onto Garza. If they're going to part with top prospects, they understandably would rather acquire a pitcher who wouldn't be a rental.
Dodgers Not Expecting to Land Chase Headley
Posted: Friday, July 20 at 7:05 p.m. ET
Third base is just one of a couple different positions the Dodgers would love to upgrade at the trade deadline. To this end, the two players they've been linked to most often are Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres and Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers.
It may be down to just Ramirez now. Here's the latest from MLB Network's Peter Gammons:
The Dodgers don't think they'll get Headley— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 20, 2012
It was just a couple days ago that ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that the Padres' asking price for Headley is one of the highest asking prices on the market.
Because the Dodgers don't have a deep farm system to work with, and because they're trying to acquire several other players at the same time, it makes sense that they'd feel less than good about their chances of acquiring Headley.
The Padres are right to demand a lot for Headley. He's under club control through the 2014 season, and there are currently only two third basemen in all of baseball with higher WARs than him, according to FanGraphs.
The Dodgers have used seven different players at third base this season. The player with the most appearances at the hot corner is Juan Uribe, and he's hitting under .200 this season.
For the record, Uribe is on the books for $8 million this season.
Dodgers Have Made an Offer for Ryan Dempster
Posted: Thursday, July 19 at 10:35 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have finally made an offer for Ryan Dempster.
What Levine doesn't know is whether Zach Lee, the Dodgers' top pitching prospect, is included in the deal. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has reported that Lee will not be in any trade for a rental player such as Dempster.
Still, the Dodgers have plenty of pitchers at the Double-A level to offer the Cubs for Dempster. It's a good bet that a couple of them are involved. That would please the Cubs, who have been rumored to be looking for young pitching in return for Dempster.
It makes perfect sense for the Cubs to trade Dempster now while he's healthy and pitching well. The timing is also right for the Dodgers, who have two starting pitchers on the DL in Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley.
The Dodgers have been widely viewed as the favorite to acquire Dempster, so don't be surprised if this deal is finalized in the very near future.
Additional Update: Thursday, July 19 at 11:20 p.m. ET
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that the Dodgers and Cubs are still going back and forth about which prospects would have to go to Chicago to complete a deal for Dempster.
Sounds like the situation is as fluid as can be. Stay tuned.
Additional Update No. 2: Friday, July 20 at 1:05 p.m. ET
ESPN's Buster Olney has also heard that the Dodgers and Cubs are still trying to agree on a deal:
In the ever-changing trade landscape: The Dodgers and Cubs haven't found common ground in Dempster talks. Other teams being aggressive.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 20, 2012
Dempster is scheduled to start on Friday night in St. Louis against the Cardinals. At this point, it seems to be a given that he'll end up making that start.
If the Dodgers and Cubs can't figure things out in the near future, one wonders if the Cubs will shift their attention to what other teams have to offer instead. Their negotiations with the Dodgers could very well end up falling apart.
Additional Update No. 3: Friday, July 20 at 2:45 p.m. ET
The Dodgers are still widely viewed as the favorite to acquire Dempster, but Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com noted on Twitter that nothing is certain at this point:
Late Thursday night, it sounded more like it was 60-40 that the deal would get done.
But that's admittedly just an observation. Take it for what it's worth.
Jon Heyman on the Dodgers' Search for a Bat
Posted: Thursday, July 19 at 5:05 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back, but their search for an additional bat to put in their lineup is ongoing.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, there are few hitters the Dodgers haven't considered trading for.
Among the hitters the Dodgers have checked in on are these guys: Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Josh Willingham, Michael Cuddyer, Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez and Chase Headley.
As Heyman notes (and common sense confirms), the Dodgers aren't about to trade for all of the guys on their wish list. It's a good bet that they'll end up with one of them, however, as Ned Colletti knows the Dodgers need a bat and he knows that he's backed by an ownership group that is willing to do whatever it takes to win this season.
For example, the Dodgers are one of very few teams around baseball that could afford to take on Rollins and what's left of his contract. He signed a three-year deal worth $33 million this past offseason, and the Dodgers could offer to pick up all of that instead of upping Rollins' trade price tag by demanding that the Phillies eat some of his contract.
Heyman has heard from a source that the Dodgers are "definitely" interested in Rollins, but he's also heard that the Dodgers seem to have around 50 or 60 things going on at the moment.
Sounds about right. The Dodgers have been mentioned in all sorts of trade rumors that have concerned all sorts of players in recent weeks.
Don't believe me? Keep reading this slideshow.
Dodgers Management Has a Blank Check to Make Team Better
Posted: Wednesday, July 18 at 9:15 p.m. ET
The Dodgers' new owners paid $2.15 billion to acquire the club earlier this year. What's a few million dollars more to make the team better out on the field?
Indeed. You probably won't be surprised to hear this, but Dodgers chairman Mark Walter told the Los Angeles Times that team president Stan Kasten and general manager Ned Colletti (pictured) will be under no financial restrictions at the trade deadline.
In other words, they have a blank check.
"I'm not trying to save a dollar," Walter said. "I'd rather say we have a great team and maybe spend a little too much."
Well said. And the fact that the Dodgers are willing to spend is something that will help them at the trade deadline. If a team has a big salary it's looking to unload, the Dodgers can offer to take it while sending very little to the other team in return.
Take Ryan Dempster, for example. He's making $14 million this season, and the Dodgers are one of few teams in baseball that can afford to take on what's left of it. Teams that can't afford to take on the rest of it will have to offer the Chicago Cubs more in order to convince them to eat some of Dempster's salary.
It's a good thing the Dodgers have money, because they don't have a ton of prospects to spare. If the Dodgers were still owned by Frank McCourt, they wouldn't be able to do anything at the deadline this year.
Jim Bowden on Hamels, Headley, Ramirez
Posted: Wednesday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET
ESPN's Jim Bowden has come through with a series of updates on various trade scenarios, and a couple of them concern the Dodgers.
For starters, Bowden says the Philadelphia Phillies are prepared to trade Cole Hamels if he shoots down a "Matt Cain-type" extension offer. The Dodgers have been disregarded by many as a serious suitor for Hamels, but Bowden says the Dodgers and the Texas Rangers are the two "most likely landing places" for Hamels.
So that's interesting. So is what Bowden has to say about the Dodgers' pursuit of a new third baseman.
Bowden says that the Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles have been the "most aggressive" pursuers of Headley, but that they are also "trying to find a match" with the Brewers for Ramirez.
Regardless of who they end up with, the Dodgers have apparently made third base their top priority.
There's a lot to digest here, but I'll start with the Hamels bit.
I just don't see it. The Phillies are going to be able to pick the best offer if they put Hamels on the block, and the Dodgers don't have as much to offer as the Rangers do. Plus, they're all but assured to pursue Hamels as a free agent this offseason, so why give up prospects for him now?
The third base situation is interesting. Ramirez is the safest option for the Dodgers because of his track record and because the Dodgers wouldn't have to send prospects within the division. Headley, however, is really coming into his own this season and he could be a stud playing half his games at Dodger Stadium instead of Petco Park.
Either way, the Dodgers need to find an upgrade at third base. It's a position that's been a black hole for them for much of the season.
Dodgers Linked to Carl Crawford
Posted: Wednesday, July 18 at 2:55 p.m. ET
I suppose it was just a matter of time before the Dodgers were linked to Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford.
That's exactly what's happened on Wednesday. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Red Sox have called around to gauge trade interest in their high-priced left fielder, and one of the teams they called was the Dodgers.
The call with the Dodgers apparently didn't last all that long, as Rosenthal noted that no discussions took place.
But again, this was bound to happen. The Dodgers have a hole in left field and they're one of the few teams in baseball that can afford to take on Crawford's contract, so it's no surprise that Sox GM Ben Cherington picked up the phone and gave Ned Colletti a call.
And the idea of the Dodgers possibly making a deal for Crawford has been around for a while. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times first proposed the idea way back in late April. He noted that LA would be a good place for Crawford to get a fresh start, and that his game is a much better fit for Dodger Stadium than it is for Fenway Park.
This is true, but it makes little sense for the Red Sox to deal Crawford to the Dodgers now. They don't have much to offer in a trade, and the Dodgers should be more worried about their pitching than their left field situation right now.
This is something that could be revisited during the offseason, ideally (for the Red Sox, anyway) after Crawford boosts his trade value with a strong second half. But for now, Crawford should be considered a longshot for the Dodgers.
Dodgers the Front-Runner for Dempster
Posted: Wednesday, July 18 at 12:00 a.m. ET
It's sounding like Ryan Dempster could be traded at any point in the next few days, and the Dodgers feature prominently on the list of teams he could be traded to.
In fact, ESPN's Buster Olney has heard that the Dodgers are the team to beat in the Dempster sweepstakes:
The Dodgers continue to be regarded by some officials as the front-runners for a Ryan Dempster deal, but Cubs are going through process.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2012
One thing that could work in the Dodgers' favor is that Dempster could effectively choose his next employer:
A question asked by some officials: Given a choice, would free agent-to-be Dempster approve deal to BOS/AL East, or to an NL West team?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2012
Worth noting: It says "could" up there. Not will. Dempster is said to prefer the Dodgers, but that's the kind of deadline season rumor that could go up in flames at a moment's notice.
One thing is clear, however: The Dodgers want him, and they need him. With Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley both on the DL at the moment, the Dodgers' starting rotation is pretty thin.
Additional Update: Wednesday, July 18 at 1:15 p.m. ET
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has also heard that the Dodgers are the favorite to land Dempster. His source is a "high-ranking Cubs official."
He also notes that Dempster could be traded by the end of the week. Stay tuned.
Ryan Dempster Prefers Dodgers
Posted: Tuesday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Another day, another Ryan Dempster update.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Chicago Cubs are exchanging names with teams that are interested in Dempster. The Dodgers are one of them, and the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves are in the mix as well.
Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers may be thin on upper-level prospects, but the perception among executives around the league is that they have enough pitching at the Double-A level to get a deal done. The Cubs have been reported to be looking for young pitching in return for Dempster.
Dempster is a 10-5 guy who has the right to reject any trade, but it doesn't sound like he's going to block a trade just so he can stay in Chicago with the Cubs. Rosenthal has it on good authority from one of Dempster's friends that the right-hander would approve a trade to the Red Sox, but that he considers the Dodgers "a better fit."
That should please the Dodgers, but it won't mean much if the Red Sox, Braves or Tigers make the Cubs a better offer for Dempster. Of the bunch, it's going to come down to which team is the most desperate to land Dempster.
The Dodgers should be desperate to land him. Their starting rotation is solid, but it's also seen better days with Ted Lilly still out and Chad Billingsley battling elbow soreness. The sooner they can make a deal for a quality starter, the better. Just a few days into the second half of the season, the Dodgers have already fallen two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
The time to make a move is now.
Could Jimmy Rollins Come West?
Posted: Monday, July 16 at 9:55 p.m. ET
These days, everyone is waiting for the Philadelphia Phillies to give up and trade Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino.
But if they do decide to sell, why not Jimmy Rollins too? Anybody think about him?
Not exactly, but Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has given the idea some thought. According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Dodgers have "some interest" in Rollins.
Makes perfect sense. The Dodgers have lost Dee Gordon to the disabled list, and he wasn't a great starter to begin with. With him out, shortstop is just one of many areas the Dodgers could stand to upgrade.
Rollins is a shell of the player he used to be, but he's been solid lately. Per Baseball-Reference.com, he's posted an .859 OPS over his last 46 games. He can still hit.
The Dodgers can afford Rollins, who signed a three-year deal worth $33 million this past offseason. But if the Dodgers do acquire him, that would raise the question of what would be done with Gordon.
If I'm the Dodgers, I cross that bridge when I get to it. Rollins is a better option for the team's plans this season than Gordon is by a long shot. If the Dodgers can get him for peanuts, they should.
As for the Phillies, they should consider taking what they can get for Rollins while the getting is good. They may not get another chance to offload his contract.
Updates on Dodgers' Pursuit of Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza
Posted: Monday, July 16 at 2:40 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have been linked to Chicago Cubs starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza for weeks, and the latest news is that they haven't taken their eye off either of them.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, the Dodgers were one of six teams that sent scouts to watch Garza pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. He performed well, firing seven shutout innings while striking out seven.
Levine notes that the Cubs are looking for young pitching in return for Garza, which is good news for the Dodgers. They have more than enough young pitching in their system.
Garza, however, could end up sticking around in Chicago beyond the deadline, not to mention well beyond this season. He has one more year of arbitration eligibility left, and the Cubs wouldn't mind signing him to an extension.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, it's more likely that Dempster will be moved. He could be dealt within the next week, as the Cubs know Dempster is a hot pitcher whose value is at its highest. They also know he's injury-prone.
The Dodgers are among the "most serious" suitors for Dempster, who leads the majors with a 1.86 ERA.
If you keep reading this slideshow, you'll come across a rumor about the Cubs wanting young pitching in return for Dempster too. Since he's older and a free-agent-to-be, he's probably going to come cheaper than Garza in terms of prospects.
So between the two of them, the Dodgers are more likely to end up with Dempster than Garza, and it sounds like they could end up with him very soon.
Dodgers Unlikely to Trade for Cole Hamels
Posted: Monday, July 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Cole Hamels had one of his best starts of the season on Sunday, allowing one earned run in eight innings against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. He upped his record to 11-4 and dropped his ERA to 3.07.
The word around the campfire is that the Dodgers were one of several teams that sent scouts to watch Hamels pitch against the Rockies, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com would advise Dodgers fans not to hold their breath.
The Dodgers and Phillies have had discussions about Hamels, but a source told Knobler that the Phillies are not enthused with what the Dodgers have to offer.
The problem is that the Phillies want to be able to contend in 2013, so they're looking for prospects who are far along in their development. The Dodgers' top prospects are mainly low-level players with lots of talent, but who are still raw as baseball players. That's not what the Phillies are looking for.
Besides, the Dodgers know as well as anyone that Hamels is going to be a free agent this offseason and that they could be able to entice him to with a big contract offer. It helps that Hamels is a Southern California native. Instead of parting with half their minor league system to get Hamels in a trade, they could just be patient and hope the Phillies don't sign him to an extension.
In short, don't expect the Dodgers to trade for Hamels at any point in the next couple of weeks. They and the Phillies are not good trading partners.
Dodgers Circling Ryan Dempster
Posted: Sunday, July 15 at 5:15 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have been linked to numerous starting pitchers in the last couple of weeks, one of them being Chicago Cubs righty Ryan Dempster. He has a 1.86 ERA in 14 starts, and has logged 33 consecutive scoreless innings.
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com has reported that the Dodgers are just one of 10 different teams that have expressed interest in Dempster. The Cubs are apparently looking for young pitching in return for Dempster, and the good news for the Dodgers is that young pitching is one thing they have plenty of.
The problem, however, is that the market may be too competitive at this point. ESPN's Buster Olney acknowledged that the Dodgers are very much intent on doing what they can to win now, but it's "unclear whether the Dodgers can outgun" other teams for Dempster.
Things are further complicated by the fact that starting pitching is not LA's biggest need. On the contrary, their starting pitching has been very good this season.
It's their offense that needs an upgrade, so one wonders if Ned Colletti would rather deal prospects for hitting help rather than starting pitching help, especially if the price is high.
We shall see. The only thing that seems certain now is that Colletti will pull off at least one major trade before the deadline. His team could use a few upgrades, and there's pressure coming from the powers that be in Los Angeles to get something done.
Dodgers Eyeing Both Aramis Ramirez and Chase Headley
Posted: Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. ET
The Dodgers' problems at the hot corner this season have been well-documented. Per FanGraphs, Dodgers third basemen have managed to post just a .670 OPS in 2012, one of the lowest figures in baseball.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Dodgers have two trade targets on their radar:
If Brewers decide to sell, Dodgers have identified Aramis Ramirez as possible 3B upgrade. Prefer Chase Headley, however.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 12, 2012
Their apparent interest in Headley is nothing new. If you keep reading this slideshow, you'll come across a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that stated that the Dodgers have "some level of interest" in Headley.
The Ramirez bit, however, is new, and it's an intriguing idea to boot.
After a slow start, Ramirez has come around at the plate. He ended the first half with 10 home runs and 52 RBI, putting him in line to finish with numbers right along the lines of the numbers he put up for so many years as a member of the Chicago Cubs. He's not the greatest third baseman in the world, but he's nothing if not consistent.
The issue is that Ramirez is under contract for two more years after this season. The money isn't an issue, as the Dodgers can afford to pay it, but the Brewers aren't going to give him up for cheap seeing as how he's not a rental player. They'll need an impressive package of prospects in return for him, and it's debatable whether or not the Dodgers have the prospects to satisfy them.
So it's no wonder that they prefer Headley. He isn't a rental either, but he's younger than Ramirez and he likely wouldn't cost the Dodgers as much as Ramirez would in terms of prospects.
All the Dodgers have to do is convince the Padres to trade Headley within the division, and then they'd have to come to grips with the idea that they'd be trading their own youngsters within the division.
Dodgers on the Lookout for a Lefty Reliever
Posted: Wednesday, July 11 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that the Dodgers are circling two right-handed starting pitchers (read ahead). Now comes word that they're also looking to add a left-handed reliever.
That report comes from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
The #Dodgers are looking for a left-handed reliever, but have no interest in Brian Fuentes, who was released today.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) July 11, 2012
Presently, the Dodgers only one one lefty reliever in their pen. That would be Scott Elbert, who has a 2.73 ERA in 35 appearances.
Beyond him, it's all right-handers out in the Dodger bullpen, so it makes sense that they would be looking to add another lefty.
Hernandez notes that the Dodgers aren't interested in Brian Fuentes, so that's one name that can be crossed off the list. Another lefty looking for work right now is J.C. Romero, who opted out of his minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles this week.
Beyond those two, the free agent market is pretty barren. If Ned Colletti wants a lefty reliever, he'll have to trade for one.
Just one of many things on his checklist for the next couple weeks.
Dodgers Circling Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza
Posted: Wednesday, July 11 at 12:50 p.m. ET
Starting pitching hasn't been a problem for the Dodgers this season. In fact, only the Washington Nationals have a lower rotation ERA than the Dodgers do.
But the word from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is that the Dodgers are looking to add starting pitching at the deadline anyway. On their radar are two Chicago Cubs starters: Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.
Heyman notes that the Dodgers have been interested in Dempster for some time now, and that they are generally viewed as a favorite to land him. They haven't been mentioned as a favorite for Garza, but Heyman says that the Dodgers have "had conversations" about him too.
The Dodgers have more than enough money to take on big contracts at the deadline, which will help them in their pursuit of Dempster and/or Garza. Dempster is making $14 million this season. Garza is making $9.5 million.
The Cubs, however, won't let either one of them go without getting young talent in return. The Dodgers would likely have to part with top prospect Zach Lee and perhaps a few other notables. They don't have an excess of talent in their system, so that puts the Dodgers in a difficult spot.
It's therefore hard to imagine the Dodgers landing both Dempster and Garza. It will likely have to be one or the other, and it stands to reason that the Dodgers will end up with the one who will cost them fewer prospects.
And that's probably Dempster. He's older and he's a free agent at the end of the season, whereas Garza is only 28 and he can't become a free agent until after the 2013 season.
Dodgers a Favorite for Victorino?
Posted: Tuesday, July 10 at 4:50 p.m. ET
Another day, another Shane-Victorino-to-the-Dodgers (question mark) update.
The rumor mill has been slightly inconsistent regarding the Dodgers and Victorino (read the other slides), but word has come out on Tuesday from Jim Bowden of ESPN.com that the general consensus among league executives is that Victorino will be dealt to either the Dodgers or the Cincinnati Reds.
The Phillies have incentive to move Victorino a) because he's a free agent at the end of the season and b) because it's looking more and more likely that this just isn't Philly's year.
The Dodgers are high in the running for Victorino because they have pitching depth at the Double-A level, according to Bowden. He also notes, however, that the Dodgers may be more inclined to sacrifice their young arms in order to get an ace pitcher like Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke, not a struggling outfielder like Victorino.
Besides, Ned Colletti is apparently more focused on upgrading his offense at first and third base. That makes sense seeing as how his outfield is about to get a big boost with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier due to return off of the disabled list in the near future.
Nonetheless, Bowden says that Colletti "is trying to find the right piece" to land Victorino. At the very least, this means he's taking the idea of acquiring Victorino seriously.
Dodgers a Fit for Carlos Quentin?
Posted: Monday, July 9 at 2:15 p.m. ET
There have been numerous rumors linking the Dodgers to Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, but it's possible that they could look to acquire an outfielder from just a few miles down the road.
Indications are that the San Diego Padres will trade slugging left fielder Carlos Quentin before the trade deadline. He's due to hit free agency at the end of the season, and the Padres don't have a lot of incentive to hold on to him given the way their season has gone to this point. The smart play for them is to get something for him while they still can.
There's nothing really concrete here, but there is a reason the Dodgers are being linked to Quentin. Per FanGraphs, Dodgers left fielders have combined to post a .631 OPS this season, third-lowest in MLB. Though he's cooled off after a very hot start, Quentin is a guy who could help solve that problem.
If the Dodgers do enter the bidding for Quentin, they won't be alone. According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Pittsburgh Pirates have already engaged the Padres in trade discussions. The Pirates have a very strong farm system and plenty of incentive to add a bat, so their interest in Quentin should not be taken lightly.
The price for Quentin will be high, so don't expect the Dodgers to make a move on him until they see how the club fares with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back healthy.
Dodgers Apparently NOT Interested in Shane Victorino
Posted: Sunday, July 8 at 8:05 p.m. ET
If you read ahead, you'll find various rumors linking the Dodgers to Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino.
Now comes a rumor that claims that the Dodgers are not interested in the "The Flyin' Hawaiian."
Here's the latest from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
The #Dodgers are not interested in Shane Victorino. Focus remains on corner infield, starting pitching and a left-handed relief pitching.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) July 8, 2012
If he says so. He's definitely trustworthy seeing as how he's around the team every day.
Still, there's a little he said, he said going on here. The slide after this one contains a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that claims the Dodgers have a "bit of interest" in Victorino, and his tweet came just a few hours before Hernandez's tweet.
Personally, I'd be surprised if the Dodgers have completely ruled out a trade for Victorino. They could use help in the outfield, and all signs point towards Ned Colletti leaving no stone unturned in the next couple of weeks.
As for the other part of Hernandez's tweet, all of that makes perfect sense. Those are areas where the Dodgers very much need help.
Update on Shane Victorino
Posted: Sunday, July 8 at 6:10 p.m. ET
If you read a couple slides ahead, you'll come across a bit about Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com mentioning the Dodgers as a potential landing spot for Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino.
There are new developments on this front, and they shift the notion of Victorino in LA from being a neat idea to a realistic idea.
For starters, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted this on Sunday:
As noted in the other slide, the Dodgers could use some more production out of left field, so it's no real surprise that they're eyeing Victorino. He's a center fielder by trade, but asking him to move to left wouldn't be asking a lot.
It also sounds like Victorino could benefit from a change of scenery, and the Phillies have little reason not to give him one.
As reported by Heyman, Victorino was a late scratch on Sunday due to a "manager's decision." He was originally slated to bat seventh. Rob Parent of the Delaware County Daily Times tweeted that Manuel removed Victorino from the lineup because he was feeling "down on [himself]."
Victorino will hit free agency at the end of the season, so he's probably gone one way or the other. With the Phillies all but out of playoff contention, dealing him is in their interest.
Chase Headley in Play for LA?
Posted: Friday, July 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET
San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley is quietly having a strong season. He's got a .374 on-base percentage through 83 games, and FanGraphs has his WAR calculated at 3.8. That's second only to David Wright among major league third basemen.
The Padres aren't going anywhere this season and they have to know that Headley's value will never be higher than it is right now. The word around the campfire is that he can be had.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Dodgers are among several teams that have "some level of interest" in Headley. Fortunately for them, the Padres aren't averse to trading Headley within the division.
One thing that's for sure is that the Dodgers could definitely use a third baseman with a good bat. Per FanGraphs, Dodgers third basemen have managed just a .668 OPS this season, 24th-worst in baseball. Primary third baseman Juan Uribe is currently batting under .200.
Headley has a career .327 batting average at Dodger Stadium, with a .509 slugging percentage to boot. He would no doubt love to escape Petco Park, where he has a career average of .235 and a slugging percentage of .396.
Is Vernon Wells a Possibility?
Posted: Friday, July 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Third base isn't the only place where the Dodgers could use some offense. Per FanGraphs, their left fielders have combined to post a .632 OPS, second-worst in baseball.
One guy they could go after is Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, who is currently on the disabled list with a thumb injury. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe thinks Wells could be had if the Angels agree to pick up the majority of his contract.
Which, for the record, has a little over $50 million remaining on it. Not exactly a small amount of money to eat.
To clarify, this is more Cafardo thinking out loud than an actual rumor, but it does make sense. The Angels have no place for Wells with Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo playing so well. They could use him as a fourth outfielder, but Peter Bourjos is a much better option for that role.
The Angels would have to get something significant for Wells in order for them to agree to eat the bulk of his remaining salary, and that's the tricky part. The Dodgers should be in no hurry to give up a significant piece (most likely a major league ready pitcher) for a player who hasn't been able to hit for a couple years now.
It's an interesting idea, but the odds of this actually happening are somewhere between slim and none.
How About Shane Victorino?
Posted: Friday, July 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET
When it comes to the Dodgers possibly doing business with the Philadelphia Phillies, the one name that has Dodgers fans feeling giddy is Cole Hamels.
Here's some advice: Don't count on it. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that the Phillies have begun shopping Hamels, but the Dodgers are more likely to sign him as a free agent than they are to trade for him. Compared to other teams, they don't have the young assets to satisfy Philly's demands for Hamels.
They might be able to get Shane Victorino, though. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com said in late June that there's probably a greater chance of Victorino being moved than there is of Hamels being moved, and he floated the Dodgers as a possible trade partner.
Victorino is a center fielder by trade, but he would have to move over to left field in Los Angeles. That would upgrade LA's outfield defense, and odds are Victorino would provide more offense than the offense they've gotten from their left fielders to this point in the season.
Victorino is not a player who will come cheap as far as prospects are concerned, but he'd certainly come cheaper than Hamels.