Not only have the Dodgers taken on the expensive salary of left-sided infielder Hanley Ramirez, but L.A. appears to be closing in on some other deals for high-priced players.
General manager Ned Colletti has been active with the July 31 trade deadline approaching, as the Dodgers began the season with a weak-hitting infield, and no clear No. 2 starting pitcher. The Dodgers are looking to not only make the postseason, but to make some noise once they get there.
According to ESPN, the Dodgers are in talks with the Chicago Cubs for Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Dempster.
While Dempster would bolster the rotation, Soriano's status with the Dodgers likely hinges on his salary. The 36-year-old left fielder has two years remaining on his bloated contract, and is owed $44 million. It's highly doubtful that the Dodgers will take on all $44 million, so it will be up to the Cubs to decide how much they are willing to pay of Soriano's contract.
Soriano is no longer a base-stealing threat he once was, but the veteran has raised his batting average this season, and has 19 homers in 347 at-bats.
In Dempster, the Dodgers would be adding a starter who has been on top of his game in 2012. In 16 starts, Dempster has a 2.25 earned-run average. Colletti may be hesitant to add a starter who had a 4.97 ERA for the month of September, in 2011, and had a 4.61 ERA for the same month in 2010.
The Dodgers have also been linked to Matt Garza. The 28-year-old starter has a 3.91 ERA for the Cubs this season. Garza has been consistent since his second professional season in 2007. Garza has never finished a season with an ERA above 3.95 since his rookie year, and has pitched in 30 or more starts the last four full seasons.
ESPN had also been linked Philadelphia Phillies' left-handed starter Cliff Lee to the Dodgers, according to Jim Bowden. Shane Victorino, who previously played in the Dodgers' farm system and was drafted by L.A., is on the trade block, and the Dodgers are considered a potential suitor.
Should the Dodgers acquire a starting pitcher without moving a current starter, they will have six in the 25-man rotation, as Ted Lilly is expected to return to the club after a rehabilitation start in the minors. Lilly has been sidelined since May 23 with shoulder inflammation.
It will be interesting to see what the Dodgers give up for any of the players involved in trade rumors. Garret Gould, a 6'4 right-hander, has been discussed in possible deals. The 21-year-old has a 4.90 ERA in Class A, but last season he finished with a 2.40 ERA, and only walked 37 batters in more than 123 innings.
Another prospect that could be dealt is Zach Lee. The Dodgers have been reluctant to add Lee in a deal, as the former first-round pick is considered one of the most talented starting pitchers in the organization. Lee has a 5.60 ERA in more than 80 innings this season after, but finished with a 3.47 ERA in 109 innings in 2011.
Scouts are not high on the Dodgers' position prospects. However, outfielders Joc Pederson and Leon Landry are considered quality prospects.