Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is bound to be wheeling and dealing at the deadline this year.
When the trade deadline was drawing near last summer, it was hard to come across rumors that didn't involve the Los Angeles Dodgers in some way.
Here's some free advice: Expect more of the same this year.
After a slow start to the season, the Dodgers are back on track and are now very much in contention for the NL West crown. They owe their rise from the ashes mainly to two things: getting healthy and the arrival of Yasiel Puig and all his bountiful energy.
But the Dodgers are still short of perfect, and they still have the resources (hint: money) to get better before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Hence the reasons they're bound to pop up in more trade rumors.
For all the latest rumors and accompanying analysis concerning the Dodgers, check back here every now and then. The most recent updates will be right at the top.
Posted: Thursday, August 1 at 1:40 a.m. ET
Apologies for being very late to the party on this one, but the Dodgers made a minor move at the trade deadline on Wednesday.
ESPN's Jayson Stark was the first to report it:
Hearing Dodgers and Twins made last-minute deal. Not a blockbuster. C Drew Butera to Dodgers.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2013
According to the Twins' official website, Butera was acquired for a player to be named later.
Butera has spent the bulk of the year with Triple-A Rochester, posting a .584 OPS in 26 games. He hasn't played much due to a broken finger than sidelined him for a while.
Butera will serve as depth in case A.J. Ellis and/or Tim Federowicz goes down with an injury. All there is to it, really.
Posted: Tuesday, July 30 at 12:35 p.m. ET
Yes, that Brian Wilson. The one with the beard.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Dodgers are in the lead to sign for the former Giants right-hander:
The #Dodgers have now moved ahead and are the frontrunner to sign Brian Wilson— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 30, 2013
Wilson last pitched on April 12, 2012. He blew out his elbow and had to go in for a Tommy John operation, his second in less than a decade.
Hence the reason he's been lying low for what feels like forever. However, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported last week that Wilson "looked good" when he threw in front of scouts. The story goes that his fastball was sitting between 90 and 93. He used to throw in the upper 90s, but a reliever can easily get by with 93.
Going after Wilson will do for a "what the heck" signing for the Dodgers. They could use a quality right-handed reliever, and Wilson could prove to be a bargain if he has anything left.
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 30 at 2:40 p.m. ET
And it's done. Here's Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:
Brian Wilson has chosen to sign with Dodgers, according to source. Had three offers. Will start in minors.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 30, 2013
A classic no-risk, high-reward signing. One wonders how much Wilson was motivated to get back at the Giants for non-tendering him.
Posted: Tuesday, July 30 at 12:40 p.m. ET
Well, it sounds like nobody should be counting on anything. Here's Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com:
Source: Dodgers and Phillies have not discussed a Cliff Lee trade recently.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2013
It's not because Lee isn't available. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that Lee is, in fact, "eminently available."
But since the asking price for Lee is predictably astronomical, the writing is on the wall that the Dodgers aren't a match for Lee. They have money, but they can't match up with, say, the Red Sox in terms of prospects.
Lee certainly would be a good get for the Dodgers, but they don't need him this year as much as they did last year. Their starting pitching is solid as a rock.
Posted: Monday, July 29 at 12:45 p.m. ET
And it's Jake Peavy's.
The Dodgers have been reported to have interest in the White Sox right-hander, but ESPN's Jayson Stark says that the Dodgers are among the clubs that aren't too keen to eat what's left of his contract:
White Sox haven't shown interest in eating any of Peavy's $ (close to $24M left). That & health were big issues for Atl, Bal, StL & even LA— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 28, 2013
There you have it. Baseball's most free-spending team doesn't want to spend.
But this makes sense. The Dodgers really don't need Peavy, and they can be forgiven if they're skeptical about bringing aboard another high-priced injury risk for their starting rotation. It's bad enough that they're stuck with Josh Beckett through next season, and Peavy is owed only $1.25 million less than Beckett in 2014.
The Dodgers certainly could afford to take on Peavy's contract. But since they have relatively little incentive to do so, it's a good bet this won't be happening.
Posted: Sunday, July 28 at 4:15 p.m. ET
The Dodgers' search for relief help is carrying on with just a few days to go until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Here's the latest.
First, the big rumor. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported Saturday night that the Texas Rangers have discussed the possibility of trading All-Star closer Joe Nathan. The idea would be to exploit a thin market for relievers, and Rosenthal listed the Dodgers among the possibilities for Nathan.
Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News chimed in on the possibility and indicated the Dodgers as a potential match because of their wealth of outfielders. A trade for Andre Ethier, for example, could work for the Rangers, which is especially intriguing in light of Sunday's report from the New York Post that suspensions are incoming for Nelson Cruz and other players linked to Biogenesis.
If the Dodgers don't want to pay the price for Nathan, who has a 1.73 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 44 appearances, they could try for Kansas City Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar. The former No. 1 pick is a more likely trade candidate than Ervin Santana, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and the Dodgers are a potential fit.
A bust as a starter, Hochevar has been quite good as a reliever this year. He has a 1.89 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP with a 3.80 K/BB in 32 appearances. Naturally, it helps that he's throwing harder as a reliever than he did as a starter.
If the Dodgers are indeed players for either of these two, Hochevar would undoubtedly command the lower price.
Posted: Thursday, July 25 at 5:20 p.m. ET
Jake Peavy pitched today. The Dodgers can testify to that, as they had someone in Chicago to see it up close.
Here's ESPN's Jayson Stark:
So how did Peavy do?
Pretty good. He went seven innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. Three of the hits he allowed left the park, because that's what tends to happen when balls are hit in the air at U.S. Cellular Field during day games in the middle of the summer.
I doubt that the Dodgers are desperate for Peavy, but I'll maintain that he would be a good fit for them. He's got fantastic control and he can miss bats, and his fly-ball style would play much better in Los Angeles than it does in Chicago.
Posted: Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. ET
At the rate they're going, the Dodgers don't need no stinking help.
But what the heck. They're looking anyway.
The word from Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune is that the Dodgers are among the teams expected to have scouts at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend to take in the performances of Jake Peavy and Jesse Crain, who is due to return from the disabled list soon.
Between the two, Crain would fill a more pressing need for the Dodgers. Their bullpen has been better ever since Brandon League was pushed to the side, but it would be dynamite if a righty setup man like Crain was added to the mix. He was among the elites when he was healthy, posting a 0.74 ERA and allowing zero home runs in 38 appearances.
Peavy would be more of a bonus, but a good one at that. His 4.19 ERA is nothing special, but he deserves better with an 8.51 K/9 and a 1.85 BB/9. Plus, his fly-ball style would fit well at Dodger Stadium.
Ned Colletti would presumably like to use the organization's financial might to acquire Peavy and/or Crain, but the White Sox may not be interested. Their farm system needs help badly, so expect them to favor prospects over cash even if it means having to eat some money.
Posted: Tuesday, July 23 at 10:05 p.m. ET
The Dodgers may not have pulled the trigger because of the price. The O's had to give up third base prospect Nick Delmonico, who Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com already has down as Milwaukee's third-best prospect.
That's quite the price to pay for a reliever. Especially one who's only going to be a two-month rental.
Posted: Monday, July 22 at 12:10 p.m. ET
If you're expecting the Dodgers to go all-out on the trade front like they did last year, it sounds like it's a good idea not to.
Ned Colletti recently told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he's not looking to make any franchise-altering deals at the deadline this year, noting that the market for star players is lacking anyway.
Colletti did, however, admit to being focused on finding relief help, and Brewers right-hander Francisco Rodriguez could be his man.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Dodgers have scouted K-Rod more heavily than any other team in recent weeks. If so, then what they've seen is a guy who's allowed only two earned runs in his last 17 appearances. And according to Brooks Baseball, K-Rod's fastball velocity has been up in July.
The Brewers aren't paying Rodriguez that much this year, as his contract calls for him to make roughly $2 million. If the Dodgers want him, they're going to find themselves doing business with a club more interested in getting something decent in return than just offloading a heavy contract.
Posted: Thursday, July 18 at 9:40 p.m. ET
Here's a summary of the latest on the Dodgers and Matt Garza from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com: the Dodgers are still interested.
Fret not, Dodgers fans. If the Dodgers miss out on Garza, Astros right-hander Bud Norris could be their guy. Here's Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Norris is no Garza, but he's solid. In 19 starts, he owns a 3.63 ERA and has logged 114 innings. He's hittable this year in large part because his strikeouts are down, but he's pretty good as far as back-end types go.
If the Dodgers like Norris enough to make a move, the best part is this: he won't cost them nearly as much as Garza.
Posted: Wednesday, July 17 at 3:45 p.m. ET
The Dodgers are pretty well set with left-handed relievers, as Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell are both having solid seasons and are perfectly capable of getting left-handed batters out.
The Dodgers could, however, use a dominant setup man of any kind. Minnesota Twins southpaw Glen Perkins looks like an attractive option.
The good news? The Dodgers figured as much too.
The bad news? ESPN's Jim Bowden reports that the Twins have told the Dodgers and all other teams interested in Perkings to stop wasting their time. Perkins is not available.
Which is a darn shame. Perkins is having an outstanding season with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP, and is under club control through 2015 for a team that, let's face it, doesn't really need him.
Oh well. The Dodgers will have to look elsewhere, and it's worth noting that Bowden remarked that they and other teams are monitoring the health of Chicago White Sox right-handed Jesse Crain. He, too, is having an outstanding season, and should be available in a trade once he comes off the disabled list.
Posted: Tuesday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m. ET
What follows is the latest on the Dodgers and Matt Garza.
According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, the Dodgers are among the "strongest pursuers" for the Chicago Cubs' right-hander. Also in the mix are the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays.
Also worth noting: ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted on Monday that there's an 80 percent chance Garza will be dealt before his next start.
It's going to take a legit prospect or two to pry Garza away from the Cubs, but what's interesting is that Kaplan noted that major league executives view Garza more as a No. 3 pitcher rather than a No. 1 or No. 2. He may be pitching well now, but he doesn't quite have a history of being an ace and he's been injured a lot in recent years.
As such, the Cubs may not be able to make a trade like the one the Milwaukee Brewers made last year, when they dealt Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels for prized young shortstop Jean Segura and a couple arms.
That's good news for the Dodgers, as they don't really have an excess of top prospects at their disposal. One guy who could work as a centerpiece is Joc Pederson, and you can read more on that possibility in the next slide.
For now, what we know is this: if this is going to happen, it's going to happen soon.
Posted: Tuesday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have a crowded outfield, and that could mean a ticket out of town for talented outfield prospect Joc Pederson.
This according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who writes that Pederson is "logical trade bait" with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig all signed through at least 2017.
If so, Pederson is also an attractive piece of trade bait. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has him marked as the No. 2 prospect in the Dodgers' system, and this year Pederson has a .296/.386/.516 line at Double-A with 14 homers and 26 stolen bases. Impressive numbers, those.
And since Pederson is basically knocking on the door of the majors, one wonders if he could be the centerpiece of a big-time trade. The Dodgers are always a threat to make one of those, especially when they're eyeing guys like Matt Garza.
Just throwing it out there...
Posted: Monday, July 15 at 9:55 pm ET
Yet another not-a-trade-rumor-but-what-the-heck update to pass along.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times caught up with Hanley Ramirez and asked him if he'd be open to signing a contract extension with the Dodgers.
"Definitely, because I want to stay here," Ramirez said. "I want to stay here forever."
Also: "Hopefully, I could stay here the rest of my career. But I can't control that."
You're not surprised, right?
Of course you're not, for you are a baseball fan and you are not dumb. Nobody's handing out more money than the Dodgers these days, so of course a piece of Dodgers property would say he's open to a contract extension. This is a case where free agency doesn't necessarily mean greener grass somewhere else.
And if Ramirez keeps hitting rockets all over the field, he could find that the feeling is mutual.
Posted: Saturday, July 13 at 9:20 p.m. ET
Not too much here to speak of, but Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tackled the Matt Garza situation in the video embedded above. He notes that Garza is probably going to be moved soon and that, yes, the Dodgers are one of the teams in the running.
I'm not entirely sure the Dodgers would be in the mix for Garza had Stephen Fife not gone on the disabled list last week with shoulder bursitis, as he was pitching well and the Dodgers' rotation looked set with Ricky Nolasco coming in. But, well, Fife did go on the DL, and his void is essentially Ned Colletti's excuse to see what's what with Garza.
It's going to take some legit prospects to get Garza, and I wonder if the Dodgers will even be able to lower the price by picking up the dollars Garza is still owed. The Cubs can afford to pick up the tab, and they might prefer to do so if it means getting better prospects in return.
That could take the Dodgers out of the running. I said it before, and I'll say it again: they're not without talented prospects, but money is easily their most plentiful asset.
Posted: Saturday, July 13 at 2:30 pm ET
The following isn't actually a rumor. But since it's been a while since this tracker was updated, I figured "Meh, what the heck?"
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer took a moment to ponder possible trade fits for veteran third baseman Michael Young, and he casually said: "Los Angeles will discuss him."
I doubt Ned Colletti would be interested in Young as an everyday third baseman. Juan Uribe has slightly superior offensive numbers, according to FanGraphs, and is also a superior defensive player. Not that that's saying much, of course, as Young has long been among the league's most hopeless defensive players.
Young, however, could work as a righty-swinging utility man who could fill in at third and first, and perhaps at short and second as well. The Dodgers have Nick Punto filling that sort of role, but Young is a better hitter.
Young does have a full no-trade clause, so he could say no to a deal if he gets the message that he would be a part-time player on the Dodgers. But at the same time, he could see a legit chance to win in Los Angeles and let it happen.
We'll see. For now, it's really just an idea.
John Axford is among the relievers the Brewers are supposedly willing to part with.
Posted: Tuesday, July 9 at 3:55 p.m. ET
The Dodgers have acquired a starter for their rotation in Ricky Nolasco, and they might go after Chicago's Matt Garza next.
But don't worry, Dodgers fans. Ned Colletti isn't overlooking the club's bullpen. He's looking around for relievers, and the word from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com is that the organization's eye is on Milwaukee.
The Dodgers sent a scout to check out Brewers relievers this week. Milwaukee has three it's willing to shop in right-handers John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez and left-hander Mike Gonzalez. All three have been solid in 2013, as Axford and Gonzalez both have ERAs in the 3.00s and K-Rod has a 1.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
The Dodgers are set at closer with Kenley Jansen and they have a couple solid lefties in Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell. They could use some right-handed help, however, as Brandon League has been a disaster and Ronald Belisario can only be trusted about as far as he can be thrown. Also, the Dodgers don't want to wait on Carlos Marmol in hopes that he can help.
Gonzalez and K-Rod are only signed for this year, but Axford has several years of club control left. As such, he could be the hardest of the three to acquire.
Posted: Monday, July 8 at 9:30 p.m. ET
The last Matt Garza update that concerned the Dodgers had them iffy on trading for him because of the Cubs' asking price.
It now sounds like that may not be the case. Here's USA Today's Bob Nightengale with the latest:
Garza is starting on Monday night against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. As of this writing, he has pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout. Against such a weak offensive club, he could be in for a big night.
Such a thing would presumably only get the Dodgers more intrigued, but a big night could also drive up the price for Garza even more. That's an issue, as it sounds like the Cubs' asking price is already set at two top-level prospects.
The Dodgers didn't have incentive to pay that price after acquiring Ricky Nolasco and adding him to their rotation over the weekend. But next thing they knew, Stephen Fife had to go on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Once again, the Dodgers need an able body for their rotation.
If the Dodgers do find a way to land Garza, they'll have a rotation of him, Nolasco, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Ryu-Hyun Jin. No other team in the NL West could match that.
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 9 at 3:45 p.m. ET
Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com reports that the Dodgers are "still involved" on Garza and opines that they "can't be ruled out."
Posted: Monday, July 8, at 1 p.m. ET
So the Dodgers have acquired Ricky Nolasco. Now what?
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, two things.
First, Nolasco will make his Dodgers debut on Tuesday in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. Nolasco's debut won't exactly be a small story, but be warned that it's going to take a back seat to the game's other storyline: Ian Kennedy facing the Dodgers for the first time since the game.
Second, Nolasco's arrival means veteran left-hander Chris Capuano will move to the bullpen. That's where he was stationed earlier this season, but only long enough to make two appearances as a reliever. Capuano posted a 5.47 ERA in 10 starts during his stay in the rotation.
This means the Dodgers will move forward with a starting rotation of Nolasco, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and rookie Stephen Fife, who has quietly posted a 2.20 ERA over his last seven starts.
That's not a bad rotation, but the Dodgers are advised to cross their fingers and hope it manages to stay together. The last thing they need is to be forced into playing musical chairs with their starters again.
Posted: Monday, July 8, at 1 p.m. ET
The Dodgers were able to pry Ricky Nolasco from the Miami Marlins, but they supposedly kicked around the idea of acquiring a much better starter: Matt Garza.
Dodgers not interested in prospect cost for Matt Garza at this time..Nolasco more realistic..Dodgers being aggressive in several trade talks— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 6, 2013
Given what we know about the "prospect cost" for Garza, this isn't overly surprising.
Last week, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Cubs were looking to get two of the Orioles' very best prospects in a deal for Garza. If true, that puts the asking price for him at two top-tier prospects. Or maybe one very top-tier prospect, a la Jean Segura for Zack Greinke last year.
The Dodgers are not without talented prospects, but they indicated with their trade for Nolasco that they would prefer to part with the one thing they have a lot of in trades: cash.
Posted: Monday, July 8, at 1 p.m. ET
It was just a matter of time before Ricky Nolasco found himself packing his bags. Over the weekend, he got the call to pack for Los Angeles.
As reported by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers acquired Nolasco from the Miami Marlins on Saturday in exchange for young hurlers Josh Wall, Steve Ames and Angel Sanchez. The Dodgers agreed to pay the entirety of what's remaining on Nolasco's 2013 salary, which is about $5 million.
During spring training, much was made of the Dodgers' excess of starting pitchers. They had eight starters to five spots, which put them in an enviable position and in a bind at the same time.
But sure enough, the club's starting pitching depth was lost in a hurry. Aaron Harang was traded early in the season, and the Dodgers have since lost Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley for the season due to injuries. Ted Lilly is also hurt again, and Zack Greinke missed roughly a month with an injury.
Nolasco is going to restore some of the rotation depth the Dodgers lost, but he's not just a mere space-filler. The 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.85 ERA in 2013, which is largely the product of an improved strikeout rate and a low walk rate.
As a bonus, the Dodgers also got close to $200,000 in international signing bonus money from the Marlins. That's money they can use to bolster their farm system.
Why a rebuilding club like the Marlins would give that money up...I've honestly got nothing.