Why the Dodgers stood pat

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
6:36
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers were, indeed, involved in talks to try to acquire Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox and David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays, general manager Ned Colletti confirmed after Thursday's deadline passed without the Dodgers making a trade. The Dodgers decided to stand pat and keep their elite prospects.

[+] EnlargeNed Colletti
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsNed Colletti said it would have required the Dodgers giving up two of their top three prospects to make a deal before the trade deadline Thursday.
Colletti said it would have taken more than one of the Dodgers' top three prospects -- Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias -- to land either of those two pitchers.

"Easily," he said.

Lester wound up going to the Oakland Athletics along with outfielder Jonny Gomes for major league slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Price went to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-team trade. The Rays netted two young major leaguers -- pitcher Drew Smyly and infielder Nick Franklin -- and infield prospect Willy Adames.

"If we didn't think that Joc or Corey or Urias had a chance to be impact players here, they'd be out of here," Colletti said. "You can't always stay in the same place where it's a team built on trades and free agency. This franchise's greatest years were really around teams that came through the system."

Though Boston wound up with Cespedes, Colletti said the Red Sox were asking the Dodgers for "upper-level prospects" in exchange for Lester. The closest equivalent the Dodgers have to Cespedes on the 25-man roster is Yasiel Puig, their best player and, now, their center fielder. Out of the question, of course.

"We didn't have a Cespedes to move," Colletti said. "I guess we could have, but we didn't."

Colletti said he is still hopeful he could add a reliever in August. Such a transaction would require that player to clear waivers, but more teams might become sellers as the division and wild-card races become more defined.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239