Trade Rumors: Dodgers On Dempster, Greinke, Johnson, Shields, Pence, Victorino, Morneau

GM Ned Colletti says the Dodgers are far from done after landing Hanley Ramirez, as they still want a starter and a bat.

The Dodgers landed the middle-of-the-order bat they’ve been looking for in Hanley Ramirez, but general manager Ned Colletti on Wednesday said he’s still looking for a starting pitcher and another hitter.

“We’re still hunting for starting pitching. We won’t let this deal stand in the way of that,” said the general manager, who dealt starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and Minor League pitcher Scott McGough to the Marlins for Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

Completely makes sense, but who? Hence the mess of rumors to follow.

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Ryan Dempster Dumpster Fire Of Rumors

Yesterday, it was widely reported that the Dodgers were the front-runners for Ryan Dempster and that the team was confident they could land him.

A trade between the Dodgers and Cubs still seems “realistic,” Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

The Dodgers have the upper hand in talks with the Cubs, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.

The Dodgers are feeling increasingly confident that they can work out a deal for Dempster, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. The Cubs don’t have many alternatives given Dempster’s interest in playing for L.A. and his no-trade protection.

Today, it has been more of the same.

The Dodgers and Cubs continue talking and “might” be getting closer to a deal involving Dempster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.

Rival executives say the Dodgers are projecting an air of optimism about their chances of obtaining Dempster, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).

There seems to be a consensus on his destination, which makes sense since he’s all but said it’s the only place he’ll go at this point.

I had no problem with acquiring Dempster, because I figured he would be the upgrade that would come the cheapest for the team. That is, until I saw this tweeted:

Uh … yeah … no thanks.

I thought the price was supposed to go down as they lose leverage, not up.

Allen Webster is a more advanced version of Garrett Gould with better velocity.

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Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the availability of James Shields has drawn interest.

The Angels aren’t the only team in pursuit of James Shields. The Rangers and Dodgers have also made the Rays trade offers for the right-hander, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports.

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says the Dodgers have alternatives to Dempster in … uh … vastly superior pitchers.

The Dodgers have Zack Greinke and Josh Johnson on their list in case they don’t trade for Dempster, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

Odd but okay.

Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the Dodgers are in on basically every starting pitcher on the market.

The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They’ve also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.

The team is also looking at outfield and first base, which wouldn’t surprise Ken Rosenthal.

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In terms of pitching, I’m sort of at the point now where if the Dodgers don’t swing a trade for an elite arm, I’d rather they just do nothing. If Dempster is seriously going to command at least a top five prospect in the system, why bother? With Ted Lilly on his way back, the team has five starters, and John Ely, Stephen Fife, and Webster wait in the minors.

As far as the bats go, I’ve already explained why I’d rather the team not acquire Shane Victorino, and Justin Morneau‘s 0.0 WAR line of .253/.314/.437/.751 doesn’t impress me. The only name that’s intriguing is Hunter Pence. His .267/.334/.447/.781 line isn’t impressive, but he’s a ~3 WAR player that would represent a meaningful upgrade.

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