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Trade Bait

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At this point I think all Dodger fans can rest easy in that the big fish will not be traded. Kemp, Billingsley, and Loney are staying as they have been instrumental in the Dodgers building a two game lead over San Diego. So who might get traded as the Dodgers look to add pitching. Keep in mind I'm not advocating a deal but it appears that one will get done in the next week as Ned tries to bolster the pitching staff for the stretch run.

From Current Major League Roster:

Wilson Betemit - the David Ortiz comps aren't looking so silly now are they? He's improved so much in value he alone might bring in a solid rotational pitcher. The Proctor rumors undervalue him. At the time of the deal I thought it was Ned's best deal. After watching him hit last year I was excited about his future and depressed about his April this year. His run up in value has coincided with the trade deadline approaching, as these two lines intersect it will be interesting to see if Ned sells high or decides that Wilson has a Dodger future.

Ethier - solid corner outfielder, upside is limited but so is the downside. If we didn't have Kemp floating around as a 4th outfielder we wouldn't dare deal him. If you can move him for a solid man in the rotation and find a spot for Kemp on a full time basis it might just be their best move. The other thing to remember is that if Ned decides Betemit is the future 3b you could still slot La Roche into LF if they move Ethier. For my money, I'd rather have the booty that Ethier could bring and an infield of Loney/Kemp/Furcal/Betemit and an outfield of Kemp/Pierre/La Roche in 2008.

Tomko - does he have any value left? I think so but I have no idea how much.

Hendrickson - if we do trade for a starting pitcher I expect that either Hendy or Tomko will also be moved

Stults - unless he's traded to the Met's so they never have to face him again I think he has zero trade value.

DJ Houlton - could probably be a serviceable 5th starter, but I don't think Ned will take the chance. He'll stick around as insurance.

Minor League Roster Vegas & Jacksonville
Hopefully not trade bait:
Chin Ling Hu - headed into spring I don't think to many Dodger fans would have minded if he was included in a deal. Now fresh off his future game MVP performance he's been promoted to AAA and has joined D Young and Andy La Roche in torching the PCL. Defensively all the scouts say he is the best in the minor leagues. Offensively, I've heard Rafy Furcal without the stolen bases as his high side. Will he have that much power? Maybe Omar Vizquel without the stolen bases is a better comp. He looks ready to take Furcal's spot in 2009 which would free up 13 million for another position.

Andy La Roche - our top prospect headed in to 2007 and for several months everyone was wondering why. While Hunter Pence and Ryan Braun destroyed AAA and were promoted and then proceeded to wage a furious battle for ROY, Andy couldn't hit a lick compared to his peers. He got promoted anyway when Betemit was going through his early season tribulations and he did one thing well. He walked, he didn't hit, and didn't hit for power. Basically he hit like Nomar at home except he walked. To put it mildly he was very unimpressive. He was sent back to AAA and continued to scuffle. Just as flags were being raised he mentioned his shoulder was hurting and was put on the DL. Once off the DL, he exploded and his power has not only come back but come back better then ever. This is just conjecture but it would appear that his shoulder had probably been hurting him all year but he wouldn't say anything and his offense was suffering because of it. Once the shoulder pain was taken care of the real La Roche has emerged and if the Dodgers trade him they will regret this the moment the deal is made.

Jonathan Meloan - the best relief prospect in baseball. Once he was moved to the bullpen last year he has been unhittable.

McDonald - Prospect guru Goldstein from BP calls him our biggest surprise. Led the California League in K's and has been promoted to AA.

Trade Bait
Abreu - is supposed to be the 2nd baseman of the future. He was playing out of position at 3b but should make an adequate 2nd. High side is Orlando Hudson/Placido Polanco. Downside is utility player. He's being groomed to take over for Kent in 2008/2009. The defense of Hu/Abreu would be as entertaining as Izzy/Cora in 2003 and 2004 with better offense.

D Young - perennial fringe prospect, doing his 3rd tour of AAA and now he's hitting like I expected him to last year. He's 25 relegated to a corner OF spot which leaves him as a 4th outfielder for the Dodgers unless Ethier is dealt. I expect him to have a Dimintri Young type of career where he's being called a professional hitter by the time he's 30. If he's on the roster on Aug 1st I'll be surprised.

Hong Chi Kuo - his injuries and performance have been huge disappointments to me this year.

Dunlap  -value keeps failing as his weight keeps increasing. His growth last year is now just a memory as the power fades and only the ability to walk is keeping him standing.

DeWitt - about to fall off the prospect radar and be branded a 1st round dud he rallied in May and banged his way onto the Jacksonville roster. After failing miserably in Jacksonville last year he's continued to rake this time around. Might be the 2nd prospect included in a deal to make sure we get quality back.

Xavier Paul - Prospect guru Canuck likes him and that is enough for me. Still if he needs to be included I won't shed any tears.

Raglani - probably has no value. He would be a throw in much like Ruggiano was last year in the Lugo deal. Ruggiano now might be the best of the 3 prospects dealt in that trade.

Hull - solid year in AAA.

Tronosco  -  Excellent year in High A got him promoted to AA where he's been very good except for back to back outings in the middle of July. Our 2nd best relief prospect behind Meloan.

G Miller - Let's give him one more shot shall we. The arm is to nasty not to keep giving him chances.

Hammes -

Orenduff - was stumbling along after surgery until the light went on and then he went on a nice tear where he was unhittable. He's come back to earth again but at least he showed us something.

MeGrew - Wildy inconsistent. Might have some trade value.

I feel sure Ned will make a deal, which of these guys are traded will make for an interesting week. If he does we can only cross our fingers that the trade looks more like the Maddux/Betemit deals then the Lugo/Hendy deals. If Ned just deals for a Traschel I'll be bummed. Either get someone good or don't bother.