Cole Hamels will be a Dodger in August
When the Los Angeles Dodgers suit up for their first game after the July 31 trade deadline, they will have an even stronger pitching rotation and a different look in the infield. But they will still have little power in the lineup.
With Juan Uribe and James Loney flailing at third base and first base respectively, the Dodgers need to rid the team of their weak bats and trade up. Just about anything would be a trade up, by the way.
Uribe, the high paid free agent the San Francisco Giants let go, is batting under .200 and Loney continues his mediocre career with an average of .247 this season. Combined they have three home runs.
That is what makes guys like San Diego Padres Chase Headley so attractive, and there are strong rumors that the third baseman who hits well in Dodger Stadium (13 career home runs) will be wearing blue very soon. Headley brings some power (10 home runs so far this year) and experience to the hot corner.
Aramis Ramirez, the strong hitting third baseman with the Brewers, has also been mentioned but he is also often injured.
There are not many first basemen on the market so it is likely the Dodgers will continue to platoon Loney until they can figure out what to do with the lanky lefty who has never lived up to his billing.
The big score would be Hamels, the smooth southpaw with the dominant curveball. Hamels is a perennial All-Star who would fit perfectly into the Dodgers already proficient rotation.
With Nathan Eovaldi's early career wavering and with Ted Lily on the DL, having an ace like Hamels next to Clayton Kershaw and Chris Capuano would turn the Dodgers already strong pitching staff into the best in the majors.
Getting Rollins would be a huge coup and shore up shortstop, which has seen Dee Gordon and Luis Cruz in the position most recently. Match Rollins with Mark Ellis and you get a nifty veteran infield duo who both can hit.
The 31-year-old Victorino is set to be a free agent after the season ends and is currently batting .245 with eight home runs, 19 stolen bases and 38 RBIs in 89 games this season. Those homers make him a power hitter on the Dodgers. Put him in the outfield with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier and the team gains some needed stability and speed.
The Dodgers have some options in their farm system especially in the pitching area with southpaws Zach Lee and Chris Reed turning heads. They could be trade bait for a good hitter.
Hot pitcher Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs is also on the block according to the rumor mill and would be a nice fit for the team. Dempster currently is on a 33-inning scoreless streak and has an ERA of 1.87 with a 5-3 record. Any team would want him.
With wayward Chad Billingsly nursing a sore elbow and Lily on the bench, the team will assuredly make a move for a pitcher or two.
The team could make a blockbuster trade for all three Phillies—Hamels, Victorino and Rollins—offering up guys like Lee or Reed in the minors, a reliever and even someone like Dee Gordon who is great upside.
The Dodgers desperately need more power in their lineup, but it is hard to see them adding a big bat by the trade deadline simply because there aren't any out there. They had a look at Carlos Lee but he opted for Miami. Then Derek Lee, the retired first baseman, said he might come back. That is not what the team needs.
But, the new management will make changes in order to make a run at the NL Pennant. They are beginning to fall behind the Giants after a great first half of the season and there is no reason why, with a little help from a good trade or two, they cannot get back into first.
When the trade deadline passes, here is what they will look like:
Jimmy Rollins SS
Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Chase Headley 3B
James Loney 1B
A.J. Ellis C
Shane Victorino LF