24 Days Until the Deadline…

First and foremost: hooray! C.C. Sabathia goes to Milwaukee and not Los Angeles, which means that any Dodger parts that might have gone to Cleveland for a starting pitcher the team didn’t really need are still around to be used for a bat or shortstop that the team does need. I don’t know exactly what it would have taken to have beaten Milwaukee’s offer of Matt LaPorta and three other prospects, but I’m sure it’s more than we would have been able to stomach. So a golf clap to you, Ned Colletti, for not making the kind of move that would have resulted in effigies being erected around the blogosphere.

With that in mind, let’s get on to some of the other rumors floating around. And really, isn’t this the best time of the year? While I am a little more worried than usual about what kind of deal is going to go down for this team, there’s few things I like more than trade rumors and proposals.

First off, the Jack Wilson rumors are still alive and well, which if the price is right, I’m okay with. (I stand strong on my threat to implode the internet if Matt Kemp is dealt for him, though.) I figured it’d be interesting to see what the Pittsburgh side of things have to say about these proposals for their shortstop flying around, so first we’ve got John Perrotto from something called the Beaver County Times & Allegheny Times:

Multiple baseball sources said Sunday that the Dodgers and Pirates are in serious talks about a trade that would ship Wilson west. Wilson, who grew up and lives in the Los Angeles area, has the longest-running tenure of any Pirates player at the major-league level as he made his debut in 2001.

*snip*

The Pirates envision a long-term outfield that would include Kemp and Nate McLouth, who was selected to his first All-Star Game on Sunday, on the corners, flanking center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates’ top prospect, who is playing at Class AAA Indianapolis.

If the Pirates are unable to pry Kemp away, they are also said to be willing to consider a deal in which they would acquire a pair of prospects: right-hander James McDonald and shortstop Chin-Lung Hu.

Remember earlier in this post when I said I wouldn’t mind Wilson “if the price is right”? Guess what: including Matt Kemp does not qualify as the price being right. Kemp is a budding star who’s already one of this team’s best hitters, ranking 4th on the team in VORP – miles ahead of Established Veterans Juan Pierre, Jeff Kent, and Andruw Jones. Wilson is an adequate, if mediocre, shortstop who’s probably already reached his peak. Besides, what are you going to do in the outfield if Kemp’s gone? Commit to playing Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones every single day no matter what? Uh, no thanks.

The scary thing is, even Pirate fans who don’t have the same attachment to Matt Kemp that we do can see this would be a heist of monumental proportions – or so says Pirates blog Bucs Dugout:

Get Kemp! Get Kemp! “Potential superstar” is right. We already recently discussed this rumor here, and I’d just assumed it wouldn’t be possible to get Kemp for Wilson. It still might not be–this is still just a rumor–but if it is, wow. Then again, maybe the Dodgers source was suggesting the team would be willing to include Kemp only if the Pirates included other players. I don’t know. What I do know is that McDonald and Hu isn’t a bad package for Wilson, and 

Kemp>>>>>>>>>>McDonald and Hu

Gee, you think? Trading Kemp for Wilson would be a tragicomedy at best, and I probably wouldn’t even do McDonald and Hu. Wilson’s a downgrade defensively from Hu, and whatever improvement he’d bring with the bat certainly isn’t worth losing James McDonald over.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the Jack Wilson rumors, but a new name has popped up as well: Casey Blake. In reference to the Dodgers losing the Sabathia bidding, Ken Rosenthal added:

In winning the Sabathia sweepstakes, the Brewers outbid at least six teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, who could have offered a stronger overall package than Milwaukee and expanded the deal to include Indians infielder/outfielder Casey Blake.

I guess I’m not sure how to respond to this idea. Blake’s a good player – he can play first, third, and right, and he’s a pretty decent hitter with good OBP skills and some pop, although that’s steadily declining. Homer tallies of 28-23-19-18 and just 8 so far this year aren’t exactly the kind of stock I want to be buying, although his 2008 OBP of .355 is very good. I think it comes down to why the Dodgers would want to acquire him. If the idea is that he’d be a veteran bat who could start a few times a week in a few different spots, then great. But if the idea is that he’s the new starting third baseman, while once again not giving Andy LaRoche a fair shake (or including him in the deal), well, then that’s a big fat “no thanks”.

Onto deals that are probably unlikely to happen but should be included just for the sake of completeness, Tony Jackson writes in the LA Daily News about the Phillies sniffing around Derek Lowe, but also pretty much snuffs out the idea in the same piece:

A Philadelphia scout attended Friday’s game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants but reportedly got up and left as soon as Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe was lifted after five innings, a clear sign the Phillies are interested in the veteran right-hander.

Lowe is in the final season of a four-year, $36 million contract, and the Dodgers conceivably could move him before the July 31 trading deadline. But the Dodgers’ primary need, as stated last week by general manager Ned Colletti, is an everyday shortstop, and the Phillies clearly aren’t going to part with reigning NL Most Valuable Player Jimmy Rollins, who is signed through 2010.

Can’t argue that. I don’t see how the Phillies have anything useful and expendable that the Dodgers could use, unless this is to be part of a three-way deal in which the Blue pick up a shortstop.

And finally, there’s absolutely no substance behind this one other than just another blogger’s idea, but I saw it and couldn’t help but mention it: Dodger Dugout wants to try and acquire Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, and move Russell Martin to third base. Somehow I doubt the Tigers, who have finally clawed their way back into contention, would want to move their starting catcher while their backup, Brandon Inge, is on the DL, but points for creativity.

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg