We are a mere 12 days away from the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Dodgers figure to be active. While offense remains a priority - 64 runs in 27 games suggest several upgrades are needed - the most imminent move just might be a move for a starting pitcher.
The Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in Ryan Dempster, the 35-year old who has ridden an active streak of 33 consecutive scoreless innings to a 1.86 ERA in 14 starts this season. Dempster, who has topped 200 innings in each of the last four seasons, is in the final year of a four-year contract that has him making $14 million this season. He is due roughly $5.7 million for the rest of this season.
Jayson Stark says the Cubs want to deal Dempster "ASAP," and that the Red Sox are no longer involved in talks for the right-hander, perhaps removing a potential suitor and competition for the Dodgers. Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cubs plan to have a pitcher from Triple A in St. Louis for Friday's game just in case Dempster is traded before his scheduled start.
A rival general manager told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the Dodgers were "a favorite" for Dempster, but we'll see. Heyman also mentions several bats the Dodgers have inquired about, though to what degree remains to be seen.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago said Dempster spent 45 minutes on Thursday playing catch with his six-year old son before what could have been his last game at Wrigley Field.
Levine also reported that the Dodgers have made a trade proposal to the Cubs for Dempster.
"It's great to hear teams are interested, but there is nothing imminent as far as I know of," Dempster told Levine. "I am sure if they have something they will come to me with it, so right now I am getting ready for tomorrow's game."
This is several steps ahead, but if Dempster is traded to the Dodgers he would replace Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation. Eovaldi starts on Sunday in the series finale in New York against the Mets.
But whether a trade happens this weekend or some time in the next 12 days, the Dodgers will be active. The question is just how active will they be?
How many players will the Dodgers acquire between now and the July 31 deadline?