Originally posted on Dodgers Rumors | Last updated 6/18/12
The Dodgers have made it known that they are looking to upgrade the roster heading into the July trade deadline. We know the Dodgers are interested in adding another pitcher to the roster, with Ryan Dempster, Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, John Lannan and Cole Hamels high on their wishlist.
We have also heard that the Dodgers are looking to upgrade their offense, with Stan Kasten going as far as to say money is a non-issue, under the right circumstances of course. The Dodgers have already been linked to Kevin Youkilis, but are reportedly not interested in Bryan LaHair, Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero.
Joel Sherman says that the Astros, Padres, A's, and Cubs are already sellers, but most other clubs still hope to contend. Sherman adds that the huge difference makers aren't available yet. The wait and see approach seems to be in effect as GM's wait to see if the Brewers or Phillies decide to trade established stars for controllable talent this summer.
Here's a list of the top position players already said to be available today.
Carlos Lee 1B/OF- It's almost certain the veteran slugger is dealt this summer. His bat would be a welcomed addition for almost any club looking for a bat, as long as it doesn't come at an over inflated price. A couple low level prospects should be able to get this guy in Dodger blue, though I'm not sure the Dodgers will go this route. Lee, 36, isn't quite the hitter he once was but he is still a guy that will make you think twice before releasing the next pitch. Lee is putting together another decent season, so far he is hitting a slash line of .301/.351/.413, with 4 home runs, and 25 RBI's in 211 plate appearances. I see no reason he doesn't finish the season out at or around his career average.
Alfonso Soriano OF - At the age of 36 Soriano is still one of the more productive outfielders in the game. I think his days of hitting 40 homers are over, but there is no doubt he's an upgrade for most teams in left field, and more importantly he is definitely an upgrade for the Dodgers. The Cubs want prospects and a lot of them. I could definitely see a outfielder being acquired before a first or third baseman. The Dodgers have some flexibility on the roster and the price for outfielders seems to be more fair in the way of prospects because the market for outfielders is always bigger than for corner infielders. I see no reason the Dodgers can't move Rivera or Abreu over to first base, trade Loney to the Twins, Orioles, or maybe even the Astros and ta-da!
Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B- I have sorta beaten this horse to death already. I like the idea, but the Red Sox asking price coupled with his injury concerns, and his lack of production in 2012 leave me very concerned about pulling the trigger on this deal. I think Youkilis can turn things around but I don't think paying the price in prospects for the fact we all think he can turn things around makes a lot of sense. That's a huge risk to take, a risk that doesn't make a whole lot of sense in taking right now. My guess is the asking price comes down in the next couple of weeks, as more of a salary dump move, and I'm thinking the Dodgers take on the salary and offer a PTBNL or a couple low level prospects.
Denard Span OF- Didn't expect to see that name did you? I could see him moving to the top of the Dodgers lineup tomorrow. The Twins are looking for pitching, so that is right up the Dodgers alley. They could also be willing to take Loney off the Dodgers' hands if they are truly intent on trading Justin Morneau as well. Cash saving move for the Twins if I ever saw one.
Mark Reynolds 1B/3B- He's been the subject of trade rumors for several months now. However, the Orioles currently are sitting in second place over in the AL East, so a lot of analysts are speculating the Orioles could be buyers as they look to win the AL East. Trading one of their biggest bats doesn't seem to fit into that scenario, so perhaps Reynolds doesn't change uniforms this summer after all.
Should the Brewers, Red Sox, Phillies, Rockies, Twins and other teams continue to fall out of contention we could see one of the most interesting July's in a long time. Red Sox? Phillies? Sellers? Yep. It's certainly a possibility as both teams are sitting in last place of their respective divisions. Some big difference makers could make their way to the hot stove report this summer.
Carlos Gonzalez- He is absolutely one of the most formidable hitters in the game. Speculation is the Rockies may already be willing to listen to offers on Gonzalez. He would pull in a serious haul of quality prospects, at the young age of 26, I'm pretty sure every team would at least flirt with the idea of trading for CarGo. Gonzalez is owed $73.5MM over the next five years, so that is a definite road block for a lot of teams. There is no doubt this guy is worth it though, seriously could you imagine this guy in left field? That would certainly give the Dodgers the most deadly offense in baseball. It would also give them the most deadly 3-4-5 combination in baseball. As long as it didn't involve Kershaw I would certainly pay any price for this guy.
Aramis Ramirez- The almost 34-year-old slugger is batting .252/.324/.442, with 7 homers, and 35 runs batted in for the Brewers in the first year of his three year $36MM deal. I'm thinking the Brewers are regretting handing out the multi-year commitment to Ramirez and may look to move his salary this summer. Now that Taylor Green has emerged, their top five prospect is blocked by Ramirez, and Green is already in the majors and ready to contribute. Corey Hart is another player on the Brewers roster that could be hitting the rumor mill sooner rather than later.
Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley are the Phillies big four, at least in the offensive category, but their contracts are a huge contribution to the $172MM payroll the Phillies are currently working with. They are very close to the $178MM luxury tax threshold but yet the Phillies are in last place, with a 31-37 record, sitting nine games behind the Nationals in the NL East.
Carl Crawford- Purely speculation but he could certainly hit the trade market this summer. I don't see him actually being moved because his contract is simply ridiculous. I don't see a team willing to take on that commitment when he hasn't proved he's worth it up to this point. Crawford hasn't done squat since his big pay day.
David Wright- The Mets have shown zero interest in trading Wright so far. That doesn't mean that they can't be persuaded otherwise. The Mets are reportedly working on a long-term deal with Wright, so I guess we will have to see how that unfolds. I imagine the Mets will listen to offers for Wright, if they get an offer they like or they feel that Wright is not going to sign long-term, the rumors could pick up. The more likely scenario is the Mets finish out the season, work on the extension over the winter, if it happens it happens, if not look for him to be traded this winter, not next month.
Josh Willingham-He's got plenty of teams interested in acquiring him, so far the Dodgers aren't one of them. The Twins seem more inclined to keep Willingham right now. We will see if they change their tune in the next couple of weeks.
Bryan LaHair- He's a guy that makes a lot of sense for the Dodgers. However, the Dodgers do not have him on the LA radar at the moment.
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