Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/14/12

The Dodgers own the best record in baseball. They have one of the best pitchers in baseball in Clayton Kershaw. They have one of the best players in baseball in Matt Kemp, and he's signed through 2019. His fellow All-Star outfielder teammate, Andre Ethier, was signed this week to an $85 million extension through 2017. A new ownership group is in place. There are legitimate reasons to be excited in Los Angeles.

That is not say the Dodgers couldn't use some improvement, even if it's not something manager Don Mattingly isn't fond of talking about.

"It's hard for me sit here and talk about what we need to do to win, when we have guys already doing the job," Mattingly said. "It's basically saying you don't like the guys you have, and I like the guys we have."

But the Dodgers could use a power-hitting corner infielder. Their first baseman have combined to hit .259 with a .370 slugging percentage and 29 RBI and are 12th in the National League with four home runs and 13th in the league with a .694 OPS. James Loney's playing time has diminished, and he even has sat against right-handed pitchers at times in recent days.

Dodgers third basemen have combined to hit .254 with a .354 slugging percentage and are last in the league with two home runs. Juan Uribe is back after missing a month with a left injury, but when healthy he has hit just .241 with one home run.

David Wright of the Mets would be a huge upgrade for the Dodgers, though it seems unlikely New York would move its franchise player. Wright was hitting .350 with 20 doubles, eight home runs and a .453 on-base percentage through Wednesday. He is making $15 million this season and has a $16 million option that he could void if traded, so trading for Wright would likely mean trading for a rental.

Kevin Youkilis is struggling this season, hitting .219 with four home runs for Boston, but he has averaged 20 home runs with a .500 slugging percentage and a .392 on-base percentage over the last six years. Youkilis has a $12 million salary this year and an option for $13 million for 2013 and has been rumored to be available, though Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told WEEI on Wednesday that Youkilis is not on the trading block.

Justin Morneau, making $14 million both this year and next, is hitting .241 this season for the Twins, but his power has returned -- he has 10 home runs in 45 games.

Carlos Lee, making $18.5 million, has hit .297 with eight doubles and four home runs for the Astros, but he is rehabbing from a hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list.

Though their starting pitchers have a collective 3.07 ERA, second in the NL, the Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in Ryan Dempster of the Cubs. Their level of interest likely depends on the extent of Ted Lilly's shoulder injury -- the left-hander has yet to resume throwing. Dempster has pitched 200 innings in each of the last four years, has a 2.31 ERA through 11 starts this season and is making $14 million in the final year of a four-year contract.

Whether the Dodgers acquire one of these players, the team figures to be active at the trade deadline. Ethier said as much on Tuesday.

"Consider this the team that's going to be out there on the forefront searching for players," Ethier said. "When you start adding other key guys, it definitely does allow everyone around you to play better baseball. We'll see who else we can get."

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