The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently leading the National League West, and despite the rumors about potential trade scenarios, the organization has been smart to distance itself from the high-profile starting pitchers on the trade block.
Los Angeles was originally reported to be interested in Philadelphia Phillies veteran Cliff Lee, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, but passing on the deal is the right move for the Dodgers.
The team has been playing well this season, and breaking up the nucleus to make a blockbuster deal could hurt LA as much as it could help. Not only would the Dodgers be fixing something that isn’t broken, but the team would also be forced to part with several key pieces to make the deal happen.
While holding off the Arizona Diamondbacks won’t be an easy test through the rest of the regular season, the increased production from the Los Angeles offense is taking the pressure off the starting pitching and the bullpen.
Add in the fact that the team is getting a solid contribution from Ricky Nolasco as No. 3 in the rotation, and the Dodgers should be looking elsewhere on the market if the franchise feels a trade is necessary.
Despite being in first place, LA will be faced with a serious question about what the team will do with fellow outfielder Andre Ethier when veteran Matt Kemp comes back from the disabled list on Aug. 6, per MLB.com.
Ethier has played well in Kemp’s absence, but the return likely will bump him from the starting lineup. If another team is seriously interested in the veteran and is willing to pay the price, trading Ethier prior to the deadline could be a possibility.
Unless teams want to bite on Ethier for Lee, the Dodgers are unlikely to make a trade.
Los Angeles already made a splash this summer with a marquee free-agent signing. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers have signed former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson.
The team would be smart to stick with the current rotation and do its best to bring Wilson up from the minors in a reasonable time.
With the back end potentially bolstered with no trade necessary, Los Angeles will be in a good position heading into the postseason and next offseason if it stays away from the big-name pitchers left on the market.