Showing posts with label Josh Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josh Johnson. Show all posts

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three days until the trade deadline, who are the Dodgers going to get?

It sounds greedy, but the Dodgers aren't done yet. After filling a need a third base with Hanley Ramirez and left-handed relief pitcher with Randy Choate, the Dodgers still have a couple more needs.

General Manager Ned Colletti wants to acquire a starting pitcher and another position player.

The Dodgers were rumored to really like Matt Garza, but his recent diagnosis (fluid in triceps) means he likely won't be dealt before Tuesday's trade deadline.

The Dodgers have also been in on Ryan Dempster from seemingly the beginning of his availability. The smart money is on Dempster donning Dodger Blue by Tuesday, but they could go in another direction.

Zack Greinke was dealt to the Angels on Friday, which was a hell of a deal for Anaheim. Now, the two biggest names linked to the Dodgers are Marlins' starter Josh Johnson and Rays' starter James Shields.

Frankly, either one would be a fantastic addition to the rotation. Johnson has injury concerns but is the more talented pitcher. Shields is a workhorse and he showed his true potential last season with a fine campaign.

The Marlins are reportedly asking for every team's "top two or three prospects," while the Rays are asking for more than the Brewers got in return for Greinke.

The likelihood of the Dodgers ending up with either Johnson or Shields are slim, but the fact they're even been rumored to have serious interest in big names such as these is so refreshing.

Ted Lilly is throwing a rehab game in Rancho Cucamonga next week. His pending return, coupled with an acquisition, should set the Dodgers' rotation for the rest of the season.

I'd bet on Dempster being a Dodger and the team sending Garrett Gould and Aaron Miller to Chicago for his services.

As for hitters, the name Justin Morneau keeps coming up. While I like idea, I'd almost want the Dodgers to acquire an outfielder before Morneau. I'll explain shortly.

Shane Victorino remains on the radar and while he's a real possibility, I really don't want him in Blue.

Hunter Pence, Victorino's teammate, would be the ideal acquisition. He's not a free agent until after 2013 and is about the best bat available -- if the Phillies decide to formally make him available. Pence's acquisition would also allow the Dodgers to bat Ramirez in the leadoff spot, which might be the best thing for the team right now.

Pence would be pricey, but I don't think I'd have much issue dealing two or three top prospects for him.

But back to Morneau. While I wouldn't be opposed to the Dodgers taking a chance on him rebounding to his MVP form, I'm more worried about his defense. He's not a great defender at first, but he's serviceable. However, with Ramirez at third base and Dee Gordon at shortstop, the Dodgers are going to need a a good defensive first basemen. Despite James Loney's struggles at the plate, he's still a great defensive first baseman. He's among the best -- if not the best -- at digging throws out of the dirt. Ramirez and Gordon aren't exactly known for their defense, so if the Dodgers can upgrade at another position, they can afford to keep running Loney out there at first base.

Who knows, maybe he'll realize it's nearly August and he'll kick it into gear.

So, we're about 73 hours away from the 1 p.m. deadline. There are still a lot of pieces in play and the Dodgers appear determined to upgrade the roster even more.

The team had its ups and downs this season. With the possibility (probability) of upgrading the team to be a playoff and even championship contender, this is one of the "up" moments.

Prediction

The Dodgers land Dempster and Victorino. Victorino, as much as I can't stand him, could be in the same boat as Ramirez as needing a change of scenery. He's a free agent after the season and the Phillies aren't going to re-sign him. The cost for Victorino would be minimal (a guy like Angel Sanchez could probably get him) and there's a slight chance he could revert to his previous form.

I can't stand Victorino, but I could see him starting in left field on Wednesday for the Dodgers.

Photo credits
Johnson: MissChatter, Flickr
Victorino: wonderwallwoody, Flickr