Several teams have contacted the Dodgers about the availability of James Loney
Thus far any discussions including the first baseman have been futile, but with the Dodgers' pitching staff already giving up 15 runs in the first two games following the All-Star break, the hold the Dodgers have on Loney may be getting weaker.
The Dodgers also have an impressive pitcher in their Double-A system by the name of Kenley Jansen. The fireballer is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.
If Jansen continues to put up solid numbers for the Chattanooga Lookouts, while showing big-league stuff, he may gain further attention from several teams looking to bolster their pitching.
While the Dodgers usual philosophy is to hold on to future talent, the more than 20 years without a World Series championship may be weighing heavily on the franchise.
Jansen currently owns a spot on the 40-man roster, so dealing him along with an established starting position player will free up a roster spot and some cap room for a big name pitcher, such as Roy Oswalt.
Trade talks have surrounded Oswalt most of the season following headlines that Oswalt mentioned he was willing to waive his no-trade clause for a playoff contender.
Oswalt is still owed $15 million for the remainder of this season and $16 million for next season.
The big question is: Can the Dodgers afford Oswalt with Manny Ramirez still on the roster?
The answer: Well, maybe. Manny's contract consists of deferred payments over the course of the next few years. Part of the agreement between the Dodgers and the slugger was a higher dollar figure in exchange for time to pay it. Like a loan with interest, the Dodgers are paying off Manny slowly.
Therefore, the Dodgers may have just enough flexibility to deal Loney, who is currently on just a one-year contract, along with a decent pitching prospect, to land Oswalt.
Several teams the Dodgers have contacted inquired about Chad Billingsley. However, dealing the starter wouldn't get the Dodgers far, as they would find themselves still without five bonafied starters.
Finally, the Dodgers have plenty of veterans at the Triple-A level that could fill in if need be. Dealing Jansen could come back to haunt them, but I'm sure they hear fans yelling, "What have you done for me lately?"