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Dodgers' trading deadline suspense: A new game to love

July 28, 2011 |  2:21 pm

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers' Rafael Furcal reacts after being hit by a pitch during the fifth inning of a ame against the Colorado Rockies in L.A. on Tuesday. Credit: Jason Redmond / AP Having fun yet?

Will he? Can he? Should he?

This is something of a new game for the Dodgers, trying to trade a veteran at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline to pick up a prospect. And to maybe dump a little salary.

Will the Dodgers trade right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, shortstop Rafael Furcal or infielder Jamey Carroll prior to Sunday’s deadline? Getting all tingly just thinking about it? For the Dodgers, it’s the only interesting game in town.

The main attraction is Kuroda, who has pitched about as well as humanly possible while building a deceiving 6-13 record. With the Rockies apparently, understandably, wanting a ton for Ubaldo Jimenez, Kuroda has emerged as the No. 1 starting pitcher on the market.

Significant teams are reportedly in on the Kuroda hunt -- Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians -- which, of course, doesn’t mean a deal is there to be made.

Rumors fly this time of year, but they are particularly curious and questionable when they involve Kuroda, who is extremely private and borne of a culture where loyalty is paramount.

If anyone else had said they had given their fluid situation little thought before their last start on Wednesday, you would have been unable to suppress uncontrollable laughter. With Kuroda, you probably believe it.

"At this point, I can't imagine myself wearing another uniform," Kuroda said.

And he doesn’t have to, either, being in possession of a full no-trade clause.

Reasons to stay: This is the only major-league team he’s played for, he likes Los Angeles and if he’s to return next season, the Dodgers are his likely destination. Also, he doesn’t have to do any explaining back in Japan.

Reasons to go: To play the final two months of the year for a contender, with a team that actually scores a run once in awhile, before a crowd over 19,000.

And anybody who tells you they know what he’s going to do doesn’t have a clue.

CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler wrote that the Dodgers sent a scout to see 19-year-old third baseman Nick Castellanos, the Tigers’ first-round pick in 2010. He’s one of their top prospects and Knobler said many in the organization doubt they would move him.

Then there’s Furcal and Carroll.

The Milwaukee Brewers reportedly have interest in one or the other, particularly after Rickie Weeks was placed on the disabled list Thursday with a sprained ankle. Tweeted USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

"Brewers would like to have Dodgers Jamey Carroll more than ever now that Weeks is on the DL. They badly need an infielder."

Since then, the Brewers traded for Tampa Bay infielder Felipe Lopez, although they are sending him to triple-A.

Furcal has struggled with injury and at the plate (.195) all season, though he’s 7-for-18 in his last five games with five runs scored.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported the -- get ready -- Giants have also shown interest in Furcal.

If the Dodgers deal Furcal, they’d likely have to eat a large amount of his remaining $4.8 million contract.

And then there’s this tweet from Fox Sports' Jon Morosi:

"Indians are continuing to show interest in Jamey Carroll, source says."

So much suspense. So much unknown. And the clock ticks. Don’t say you’re not having fun.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers' Rafael Furcal reacts after being hit by a pitch during the fifth inning of a ame against the Colorado Rockies in L.A. on Tuesday. Credit: Jason Redmond / AP