Losing two out of three in Denver after winning four in a row has left the Los Angeles Dodgers in disbelief and dismay. Starting pitcher Ted Lilly appeared to have been shaken by recently being placed on waivers, and Sunday's game may have been a clear foreshadowing for upcoming events.
Virtually all players on the Dodgers' roster set to be free agents next season have been placed on waivers. The benefit to the process for a team on the bubble is flexibility as it pertains to the remainder of this season and the upcoming offseason.
Los Angeles can sit on the fence with their soon-to-be free agents, feeling out the rest of the league to discover interest in their players. The Dodgers will enter the offseason in uncertainty over a possible lack of funds.
Had the current team been able to gain significant ground on Wild Card teams ahead of them, the Dodgers may have elected to hold onto their key players down the stretch. However, the Dodgers have fallen further down in the standings since losing back-to-back games against the team directly in front of them, the Colorado Rockies.
As of Sunday, the Dodgers are six and a half games behind the Wild Card leading Philadelphia Phillies. While L.A. continues to struggle, they have already begun to cut their losses. Manny Ramirez is officially on his way to the Chicago White Sox, and the Dodgers didn't receive a player in return. Following the White Sox claiming him on Friday, the Dodgers shipped him to Chicago on Sunday. The White Sox will assume the remainder of Manny's contract, something to the tune of $4.5 million.
With Ramirez officially off the roster, the remainder of Dodgers' outfielders have become slightly more stable on the roster but could still be moved.
Scott Podsednik's future may also be determined in the next few days. His contract has an option for next season, valued a little over $1 million. His recent increase in quality of play may be attractive for playoff teams looking for base-runners at the top of the line-up.
In just about a month with the Dodgers, Ted Lilly has gone 5-1 with a stingy ERA, but he may be the next one out. Several teams have inquired about his services, and Los Angeles appears to be giving up on this season and looking forward to next year.
By Wednesday or Thursday, fans should have a better look at the near future. Monday will mark the beginning of a very short trial period for the Dodgers, and the outcome will not only determine where the Dodgers finish the 2010 season but likely who the Dodgers will finish the 2010 season with. The "Boys in Blue" will have their hands full with the Phillies, as they will have to tango with Roy Halladay on Monday and Roy Oswalt on Wednesday.
The series begins Monday at 7 pm PST, with Hiroki Kuroda, also placed on waivers, squaring off against Roy Halladay.
For more info. on the Dodgers waiver situation, read: L.A. Dodgers Waiver Toward Future