Very strange situation.
Six games to determine whether the Dodgers become sellers or buyers at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. Odd in itself, an entire season’s perspective able to go either way because of a handful of games in July.
Making it stranger is the repercussions of either scenario not appearing all that significant.
If the Dodgers sweep through Arizona and San Francisco to become buyers, just what are they supposed to buy? I mean, with the team in bankruptcy court and all. It’s not like they’re going to add a significant player (read: contract).
And if they decide to become sellers, just exactly what to they have of interest to dangle?
The name most mentioned is Hiroki Kuroda, who would be a swell addition to a contending team in need of a good starter. Only Kuroda has a no-trade clause in his contract and I can’t see him approving a trade unless it’s to a glamour franchise like the Yankees or Red Sox. Why would he? He seems to like it here and there’s always the possibility of him returning for another season.
Other vets don’t look too enticing. Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal are having a disabled list contest. Juan Uribe and Ted Lilly are too expensive. Jamey Carroll, Aaron Miles and Rod Barajas are not going to bring much or save much.
The Dodgers should be willing to deal James Loney, but despite his turnaround, his run production isn’t going to have teams lining up with intriguing prospects.
They’re not going to deal young stars Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but probably would have to listen if teams came hard after Andre Ethier. He’s making $9.5 million this season, with one more year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. Still, it would have to be an impressive offer. The Dodgers already have one outfield position they can’t fill.
Their major prospects -- Rubby De La Rosa, Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands -- are so few it makes no sense to deal them.
So the only thing they would likely accomplish by becoming sellers at the trading deadline is to dump salary. Everybody excited about saving Frank McCourt some extra cash?
General Manager Ned Colletti said he’s undecided whether to become buyer or seller and will used the month’s final days to make his determination. Any other year, and this is a fairly big deal. This year, not so much.
Ownership is in limbo and the franchise is without direction. If MLB wins temporary team control July 20, the Dodgers might have more funds available to acquire someone, but still hard to fathom it taking a sub-.500 team further into debt.
The team is adrift with no one at the helm. It’s a sad, wasted season and selling off a veteran or two ultimately does little but help McCourt. Very strange.
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-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: All-Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw (right) seems untouchable in trade talks, but All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier might be a different story. Credit: Denis Poroy / Reuters