Colletti mum on Kemp trade options

Updated: July 26, 2014, 9:32 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have cast a wide net before Thursday's trade deadline -- inquiring about starting pitchers and relievers and listening to whatever inquiries they get on one of their extra outfielders -- but general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that traction has been slow.

"You know what? We may not do anything," Colletti said. "We've still got a club that's solid, that still has upside to it, so I think there's still more in this club. Have we won four in a row yet? I think there's still a strong run in this club as it's currently constituted. That said, we've been historically active in July and August, sometimes, and we'll continue to see what else we can do."

The Dodgers are content with closer Kenley Jansen and left-handed setup man J.P. Howell, but they have lacked reliable alternatives for the seventh and eighth innings. The back of their rotation has shown some signs of fraying, with Josh Beckett dealing with a torn labrum in his left hip and Dan Haren struggling badly enough that the team decided to skip his next start.

Colletti said his focus remains on pitching, but he said there are so few teams willing to trade arms, he's not fixated on whether it's a reliever or starter. One of the most active selling teams so far has been the San Diego Padres. Two other perceived sellers, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, also play in the Dodgers' division.

"It's a very small market, and in our situation, some of the teams are in the NL West," Colletti said. "In our case, it's going to be a buck-and-a-half for a dollar."

It might turn out that the Dodgers' biggest impact move came Friday night, when they shifted Yasiel Puig to center field. Getting reliable defense in center field has been a major issue lately, and Puig has been asking to play center field since he arrived last season. The team also thinks Matt Kemp is best suited to play right field at this stage of his career, having undergone shoulder and ankle surgeries in the past year.

Colletti said he hasn't spoken to Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, lately. Stewart implied to CBSSports.com that it might be best for Kemp if the Dodgers trade him. Such a scenario seems unlikely, particularly before the trade deadline, as Kemp is owed $107 million for five more years beyond this season.

Asked if he thought he needed to trade one of his veteran outfielders, Colletti said, "It's incumbent on every general manager to listen to teams and try to make their team better."

Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported that the Dodgers have had some discussions with the Boston Red Sox about pitcher Jon Lester, and some believe the Tampa Bay Rays might trade David Price, but Colletti indicated acquiring an elite pitcher might be a bit of a stretch due to the cost in high-level prospects.

"For the elite major league player, sometimes [the cost is] two elites, sometimes three elites. We're dealing in an elite environment," Colletti said.

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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