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Waiver trade deadline: Reliever, bench bat likely on Dodgers shopping list

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers aren't expected to make any huge splashes by Sunday night's waiver trade deadline, though a bench bat and a relief pitcher are likely on the Dodgers' radar.

"There are some names going around, not knowing if it's going to happen or not," manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday. "It's kind of like Ned [Colletti, general manager] just letting me know what's going on. 'This guy is a possibility, we're looking at this, what do you think?' It's more like he's letting us know what's going on, keeping us in the loop."

One name that has surfaced as on the Dodgers' radar is Adam Dunn, hitting .220/.340/.433 with 20 home runs for the White Sox. a Chicago is discussing deals with both the Dodgers and Athletics, per Buster Olney of ESPN. Dunn has a no-trade clause, giving him essentially the right to choose his destination, putting the Dodgers at a disadvantage without the designated hitter nor lineup spot open. In fact, Oakland is the front runner for Dunn, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, with Olney going so far as to say the A's are "closing in" on a deal for the slugger.

The pursuit of Dunn is reminiscent of the Dodgers' trade for Jim Thome on Aug. 31, 2009. Thome hit .249/.372/.493 with 23 home runs in 107 games, a 121 OPS+ not far off the 117 OPS+ currently sported by Dunn. Thome was also 38, four years older than Dunn is now, and physically incapable of playing first base. Thome was limited to pinch-hitting duty in Los Angeles, and was 4-for-17 (.235) with all singles down the stretch.

Dunn is making $15 million in the final season of a four-year contract with Chicago, with roughly $2,295,082 remaining in September.

Colletti in his tenure as Dodgers general manager has been quite active in August, when waivers represent an extra obstacle to make trades, and especially so in late August when the Dodgers have been in playoff contention.

The Aug. 31 trade deadline is a bit of a misnomer, as deals can still be made in September. But players must be acquired by 9 p.m. PT on Sunday night in order to be eligible for postseason rosters.

The two Aug. 31 additions that stand out during Colletti's tenure in Los Angeles are Marlon Anderson and Ronnie Belliard, both acquired from the Nationals three years apart. Anderson was a second baseman turned utility man who joined the Dodgers in 2006. He hit .274/.331/.423 with five home runs in 109 games with Washington, but became superhuman with the Dodgers. Anderson hit .375/.431/.813 with seven home runs and 12 extra-base hits in 25 games, including 5-for-5 with two home runs in The 4+1 Game on Sep. 18, 2006.

Belliard, in 2009, was a mini-Manny Ramirez both in looks and in performance. He hit .351/.398/.636 with five home runs and seven doubles in the season's final month for the Dodgers, playing so well that he unseated All-Star and Gold Glove winner Orlando Hudson at second base both down the stretch and in the playoffs.