LOS ANGELES -- The non-waiver trade deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon and the Dodgers didn't make a single move. Though general manager Ned Colletti expected as much given his conversations over the last two weeks.
"We had a very small list we were trying to go after," Colletti said. "I didn't have confidence in finding a match all along. That there were five teams that were sellers and two were in the [National League] West didn't help."
Colletti said the Dodgers were in discussions with the top two starting players dealt on Thursday - David Price and Jon Lester - but the Rays and Red Sox, respectively received major league players in return. Price was dealt to Detroit in a three-team deal with Seattle that brought pitcher Drew Smyly and infielder Nick Franklin, plus a minor league shortstop to Tampa Bay. Lester went to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes.
In dealing with the Dodgers, both the Rays and Red Sox asked for more than one of the Dodgers' top three prospects: Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Joc Pederson.
"They were talking about upper-level prospects. We didn't have a Cespedes to offer them," Colletti said, then paused and smiled, referring to the younger and better fellow Cuban a Yasiel Puig. "I guess we could have, but we didn't."
Colletti said in talks with other teams about lesser players, the asking price was simply too high to pull the trigger on any deals just yet.
"If it wasn't the top three [prospects], it was multiples of those right below that," Colletti said. "What we were searching for in those type of conversations it wasn't anybody we felt would be a substantial upgrade."
The Dodgers made one trade earlier in the week, acquiring infield depth in Darwin Barney from the Cubs for 20-year-old minor league pitcher Jonathan Martinez. Colletti said that while the Dodgers did try to add a frontline starting pitcher, the playoffs are still a bit of a crap shoot.
"Had we done something of major consequence today, it doesn't guarantee you're going to win. There are no guarantees," Colletti said. "You can go out and get the biggest name on the block and it may make you better, but it doesn't guarantee anything."
Relief pitching remains the main goal for the Dodgers to add, which now must be done through the waiver process. Colletti said that as more teams fall out of the race there could be more players available.
"I think the bullpen has a chance to improve," he said. "We'll find maybe more choices than we just had. In the next 30 days there will be more teams as sellers."
Scott Elbert, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque. With over three years of service time Elbert could have refused the minor league assignment, but he accepted it.
Erisbel Arruebarrena was suspended five games for his role in Saturday's brawl with Reno. He was promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday and began serving the suspension Thursday night.