Let me preface this by saying these absolutely no way the Dodgers end up selling, even though it would be the right move. Here is what I would do if I were the Dodgers. It won't be pretty for the rest of this season, but it would set the Dodgers up for future success.
Untouchable players: Clayton Kershaw
- Other than Kershaw, everyone else is up for grabs. However, that doesn't mean the Dodgers would or should trade the likes of Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley or Matt Kemp.
Deals I would make
To Yankees: RHP Jonathan Broxton
To Dodgers: C Jesus Montero, LHP Jeremy Bleich
- This works because the Yankees are looking for a guy to bridge the gap to Marino Rivera. New York was rumored to have offered Montero for Soria. Broxton is a free agent after 2011 (making $7M next season) and a third-place team should sell high on an elite closer. Broxton is the Dodgers' most valuable trade piece this side of Kershaw.
To Rays: OF/DH Manny Ramirez
To Dodgers: LHP Jacob McGee
- I alluded to this in an earlier blog posting. The Rays are looking for a bat, as they've been rumored to be after Adam Dunn. The sticking point here would be Ramirez's inability to play. Ramirez has been on the disabled since early July and hasn't proved he's healthy. However, that doesn't mean a trade couldn't be reached after the July 31 deadline. McGee might be too much to get in return, but I'm aiming high.
To Red Sox: SS Rafael Furcal and C Russell Martin
To Dodgers: INF Jed Lowrie, RHP Manny Delcarmen, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Luis Exposito
- Furcal is riding quite the hot streak and if the Dodgers were ever going to trade him, they'd do it now. He's owed $12 million next season with a $12 million club option for 2012 (vests with 600 plate-appearances in 2011). With Montero, the Dodgers could afford to move Martin, who is firmly entrenched in a three-year slump. He still has solid on-base abilities and is a decent defender behind the dish. The move would allow the Red Sox to put Victor Martinez at 1B (when he comes back) and move Youkilis over to 3B. The Dodgers would get Lowrie, who would bridge the gap to Dee Gordon, a bullpen arm in Delcarmen, a solid 1B prospect in Rizzo and catching depth in Exposito.
To Twins: 3B Casey Blake, cash ($1.25M to cover 2012 buyout)
To Dodgers: 1B/OF Chris Parmalee
- The Twins were the Dodgers' only other competitior for Blake's services in the winter of 2008. Minnesota currently has 25-year-old Danny Valencia playing at 3B. He's doing well, but he's a rookie. Blake would provide them a veteran at the corners (infield & outfield) in case some younger guys falter. Parmalee is a big kid, but hasn't quite lived up to his potential (Twins' 2006 first-round pick). A change of scenery could work for him.
To Cardinals: RHP Hiroki Kuroda
To Dodgers: LHP Sam Freeman, C Bryan Anderson
- The Cards are looking at Jake Westbrook, but Kuroda would be a much better acquisition. Kuroda can be a free agent after the season. A 1-4 of Wainwright-Carpenter-Garcia-Kuroda could do some damage in the playoffs. There's no guarantee he's going to stay in the states, so the Dodgers should look to get something for him. Also, the minor league catching depth has been addressed in these trades. Freeman is strictly a reliever. Looks like a potential LOOGY.
Like I said, it wasn't going to be pretty. The Dodgers would be moving a bunch of quality veterans and replacing them with unproven youngsters. But that's what rebuilding is all about. Not only that, the Dodgers would free up some money, which would make McCourt happy, but could also lead to more activity in the free agent market (perhaps a run at Carl Crawford in the winter).
Not only that, but it strengthens a weak minor league system (ranked No. 24 by Baseball America coming into the season).
You might be saying to yourself, "This is something Royals or Pirates would do, not the Dodgers." The reality is, the Dodgers aren't much better than the Royals or Pirates as an organization right now. The owner and general manager are treating this time like it's in a small market. This is the sad, sad reality.
So, to totally go against what I just wrote, the Dodgers will likely waste resources (prospects) on a Ted Lilly or Paul Maholm and a reliever in the next 21 hours.