Dodgers Desperate For Help, Essentially Interested In Everybody + Potential Carlos Lee Trade

It’s no secret that the Dodgers are desperate for help. Offense has been the primary problem of late, as the team is now feeling the effects of missing cogs like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Mark Ellis. However, Ned Colletti has been looking to shore up pitching as well.

As of the last couple of days though, seemingly as a result of the recent losing streak, talks have intensified everywhere, and the Dodgers are apparently trying to find upgrades wherever they can get them.

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A prime example of their current mindset is Buster Olney listing basically everybody as potential trade targets for the Dodgers. He mentions Jeff Francouer, Alfonso Soriano, Chase Headley, Edwin Encarnacion, Vernon Wells, Carlos Lee, Justin Morneau, Bryan LaHair, Hanley Ramirez, Daniel Murphy, and “Boston Red Sox leftovers“. I wouldn’t waste too much time thinking about scenarios for most of those names, as it’s just speculation, but it gives you a general idea of what the team is looking at.

Ken Rosenthal‘s recent reports provide another example, as he reveals the Dodgers have been in touch with at least eight teams about a variety of positions.

According to major league sources, they have talked multiple times to the Cubs, Astros, and Brewers. They’ve also touched base with a number of other teams, including the Mariners, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays and Padres, sources said. The Dodgers would like to add a hitter, a starting pitcher, and a left-handed reliever.

So the Dodgers are contacting everybody in an effort to improve the squad, not just the offense, but also the rotation and bullpen.

Specifically, the team is looking hard at Ryan Dempster, who I wrote about before, and are even apparently considering Derrek Lee.

Speaking of the Cubs, the Dodgers are viewed as a favorite to land Ryan Dempster once he returns from the disabled list, sources suggest to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The two sides haven’t talked since the week before Dempster went down but a person familiar with the situation says Los Angeles has a very good chance to land the right-hander.

The Dodgers are lukewarm to the idea of signing Derrek Lee, and would prefer to explore other options first, a major league source told Rosenthal. Lee would require time at Triple-A and the Dodgers seem to prefer more certainty and perhaps a more immediate solution at first base.

Would take the Lee interest with a grain of salt, but the Dodgers are clearly looking for just about anybody who is alive and can play first base at this point.

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So with that established, the hot button issue at the moment are the rumors involving Zach Lee, Garrett Gould, Jed Lowrie, and Carlos Lee.

9:02pm: The Dodgers are talking to the Astros about a trade that would send Jed Lowrie to the Dodgers with minor-leaguers Zach Lee and Garrett Gould headed to Houston, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). One source place the odds of the deal taking place at about 50-50 right now, Olney tweets.

I understood the interest in Lowrie, as Dee Gordon has been a black hole, both offensively and defensively, but Carlos is a marginal upgrade at best, if he even is one.

10:11pm: The Dodgers asked about Lowrie, but he’s now not in the current talks, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. A source says that there’s a 50-50 shot that Carlos Lee accepts a deal to Los Angeles for pitching prospects.

This is where I got negative. With Lowrie out of the picture, it’s Carlos for “pitching prospects”, plural.

9:57pm: Dodgers‬’ talks with ‪Astros‬ involve Carlos Lee, not Jed Lowrie, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Lee would need to a approve deal and has the right to block a deal to the Dodgers.

As I was expressing on Twitter, I’m not thrilled with the idea of trading prospects for Carlos Lee. A solid segment of fans disagreed though, as they were generally enamored with acquiring an upgrade over James Loney. I’m just not sure Carlos Lee is the guy they’re looking for.

Carlos Lee’s current slash line is .290/.342/.412/.754, which is in line with his recent production, and he projects to hit .276/.328/.434/.762 the rest of the way. Additionally, consider that he’s a terrible defender in the outfield and a fringe to poor defender at first base.

James Loney’s current line is .236/.303/.323/.626, which is partially the result of lower than normal BABIP. He projects to hit .266/.327/.387/.714 the rest of the way. Plus, he plays above-average to plus defense at first.

Now 50 points difference in OPS is nothing to scoff at, but factor in the defense and then consider that Loney has a .802 OPS career against righties (.669 against lefties) and Juan Rivera has a .821 career OPS against lefties (.747 against righties). Now the gap is basically non-existent.

You know how to tell that this trade is an iffy upgrade? When it’s even arguable as to whether a potential acquisition is an improvement over James Loney and Juan Rivera.

Then there’s the matter of the prospects involved, but I already gave my thoughts on that through Twitter.

It’s not so much about the prospects, it’s about giving away legitimate assets for questionable upgrades.

Some people are happy to give away prospects for immediate upgrades, no matter how small, but why give away prospects for basically no reason? Throwing shit against the wall may work in small sample sizes, but do it enough and you’ll get burned more often than not.

The Dodgers under Colletti have made a habit of surrendering solid assets for marginal upgrades, so it’s a legitimate concern for fans, and history indicates we have every right to be.

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