The phrase of the day at Dodger Stadium is "no-trade clause." The Dodgers are close to a deal with St. Louis for Rafael Furcal, pending Furcal waiving his no-trade rights. However, that will likely be the biggest deal for the Dodgers at the trade deadline, as Hiroki Kuroda has informed the team that he will remain a Dodger through the end of 2011.
Kuroda said he likes his teammates and a key factor in staying was continuing to play with many of the same guys with which he began his Dodger career in 2008. "I, like any player here, would like to win and I know how it feels to pitch in the playoffs. I know how exciting that can be, so I had to really fight to come to this conclusion," Kuroda said through interpreter Kenji Namura.
"In a way it's refreshing. He made a commitment to stay here, and he wanted to fulfill that commitment. It's certainly not something you'd shake your head against," said general manager Ned Colletti, who said he would have been surprised had Kuroda decided to waive his no trade.
Kuroda also said he hasn't yet decided on whether to return next season or to return to Japan. Colletti elaborated on Kuroda's time as a Dodger:
"He's been good for us, the four years he's been here. He's been a great example for our younger guys. He's helped Kershaw develop; I think their friendship has been a plus. When he goes out there, you got a chance to compete every single time. If he wants to come back here next year, we've seen enough through the four years that we'd certainly be interested in bringing him back once he decides what he wants to do."
Colletti wouldn't comment on specific details of the Furcal trade, other than to say there were a "handful of issues" before the deal is complete. Colletti did say he has a pretty good feel of the player or players in return, but wouldn't specify since the deal isn't yet official. When asked if approval from baseball (for $1 million or more changing hands) was one of the issues, Colletti repeated that there were a handful of issues.
"It's hard. You got your house, you have your family, you play for six years in the same city," Furcal said as he held court with reporters before the game. Furcal danced around the question of a trade, saying that he would know more after discussing the situation with his agent. The trade, if it goes through, won't be completed until Sunday.
As expected, Colletti confirmed that if Furcal does move Dee Gordon will be recalled, and that the team is not likely to move fellow middle infielders Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles. Colletti characterized the farm system as pitching heavy, and that the focus, when looking for potential trades, has been position players. Though there doesn't expect to be any other deals by the Dodgers before tomorrow's deadline, Colletti admitted things get a little more hectic in the last hour or so before tomorrow's 1 p.m. PDT deadline. "All of a sudden everyone finds your phone number," Colletti joked.
Blake & Uribe Change Places
Before the game tonight, the Dodgers activated Casey Blake from the 15-day DL, and placed Juan Uribe on the disabled list with a left hip strain. Blake hasn't played since July 2, spending most of the month on the shelf with a cervical strain, a literal pain in the neck. Blake played two games on a rehab assignment the last two nights with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Uribe is placed on the DL retroactive to July 24. The earliest he can be activated is Monday, August 8, though manager Don Mattingly was unsure of Uribe's recovery timetable, since he original thought this hip strain would only last a few days.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.