Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Ryan Dempster heads to Rangers

The Dodgers did not end up with their long-rumored starting pitching acquisition. Ryan Dempster has been traded by the Cubs to Texas, leaving the Dodgers with Stephen Fife as their No. 5 starter until Ted Lilly returns from the disabled list, unless they choose a different arm from the minors or acquire a player who can clear MLB waivers.

Ned Colletti has a history of making deals in August, including the pickups of Greg Maddux, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla.


Preparing for a Shane Victorino trade


July 31 game chat


  1. Will they be able to pursue Cliff Lee if he becomes available through waivers?

    •  Yes, they can pursue.

      • foul tip

         And dream on that he’d clear and they’d actually have a chance at him.

        • Anonymous

           Wouldn’t Lee’s incredible contract be enough to dissuade a lot of teams putting in a claim?

  2. Anonymous

    With Lilly already in a rehab stint, I think his return is imminent.  I doubt that Fife gets more than one more start (tomorrow).

    • Anonymous

      Over the years I have found the articles at to accurately express the team’s thinking. Here is the latest from that site on Lilly:
      Lilly, who had not pitched since May 23 due to left shoulder inflammation, threw two scoreless innings. Mattingly said the veteran starter will pitch again on Friday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, and the plan was for Lilly to make at least three total rehab starts. Mattingly wants to make sure Lilly is able to come back in full force, and not in a limited role. 

  3. Anonymous

    McGehee for Qualls.

    • Anonymous

       Any team that acquires Qualls has weakened its bullpen.

      • Anonymous

        I agree, but why don’t they know it? 

  4. Anonymous

    The Cubs traded Dempster for two class-A minor leaguers?  Really?

    • Anonymous

      Don’t forget the biggest thing that Theo got out of this deal, a giant middle finger to Ned.  Sounds like maybe Theo would have taken anything for Dempster to not trade him to LA.  I don’t blame Ned.  No need for him to negotiate against himself.  If Ned would have given up one of our top prospects for Dempster when it appeared the Dodgers were the only team in the mix, he have been destroyed on this blog.  Theo was insulted Ned didn’t give up more, so he took less from someone else.  I have more respect for Ned than I do Theo at this point.

      • Anonymous

        Filled 2 of 3 biggest needs. Did not mortgage future. Happy. Now to get a 1B through waivers. Would anybody claim Morneau before he got to us??

        • Anonymous

          I get why people would not have any faith in Loney.  The thing is he has a history of sucking the first half and balancing the ledger in the second.  He is doing the same thing now, so it might be safe to assume we’ll now get Good James.  Granted, he’s not going to hit many HR’s regardless of how hot he his, but he’ll likely be as good or better than whatever is available.  I also suspect that removing Loney might also prove disruptive to the chemistry we’ve got going on now.

          • Overall, he blows. And as far as chemistry goes, I’m sure that the clubhouse will grieve over James Loney on long winter evenings.

          • Anonymous

            Point is, we already paid the price of enduring Bad James for first half, so lets enjoy Good James.  I’m taking this year.  We can move him in the off-season.

          • Anonymous

             This is Loney’s last season with us, so no need to worry about moving him.

          • Anonymous

            Emotion wise, Kemp is to Magic as Loney is to Jabbar.  

            I love Loney’s dry since of humor.  Whenever he decides to pull the ball instead of seemingly always just trying to hit it back up the middle  will be fine with me.

            I wonder if Mattingley has told Loney that he wants him to hit the ball up the middle.

            I also would like to know how heavy a bat Loney uses.

          • Anonymous

            How about the infield chemistry?  It’s crucial, with a suspect left side of the infield – Hanley and soon enough Dee – we have a strong defender at first to bail them out.  It’s Loneytime!  

          • Anonymous

            Loney career:
            first half: 285/342/404
            second : 285/342/448 did you think it would be 404?
            In his first 2 seasons what you said above applied but not since at least not over the full 2nd half.
            Rivera, on the other hand is
            260/310/423 vs

          • Take a look at Loney per month, he’s better the later it gets.

      • Anonymous

         I’m sure this blog was one of Colletti’s primary concerns.

        • Anonymous

          That’s not what I was saying.  Point was Ned will get crap here for not getting Dempster, but if he had paid what was being asked when no other team was even a possibility then people would be even more outraged.  I guarantee you that Ned could care less what everyone else thinks.  He is looking out for the Dodgers (and his) best interest.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t think he will get too much grief for not including Webster.

          • Anonymous

            I think Ned was unwilling to deal Lee, Webster or Reed and that was a problem for Theo.  I don’t think anyone here would be too pleased if they traded either of those guys for Dempster straight up.

          • Anonymous

            I’d have given him crap if he HAD acquired Dempster for any more than the Rangers paid.  Don’t need him, don’t want to pay him, especially buying high.  I don’t know if Colletti was smart to say no or just lucky (i.e., right decision for wrong reasons) but I also don’t care. 

      • Anonymous

        >> Don’t forget the biggest thing that Theo got out of this deal, a giant middle finger to Ned.

        Reminds me of the expression, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. 

        >> Sounds like maybe Theo would have taken anything for Dempster to not trade him to LA.

        Or nothing at all!  :)

        • Anonymous

          yep, I bet Theo told Ryan to either add teams or he’s not going anywhere.  Turns out that RD is not so good in AL parks.

    • Anonymous

      Cubs got a good prospect in Christian Villanueva, who is said to have double digit HR potential with great speed and solid defense at 3rd, even if he is three or four years away. Considering how awful 3B is league-wide, they are wise to start stocking up now.

      • Anonymous

        He’s only 21, but 9-18 SB’s at High A and 15 errors/938 FLD% this year.

        • Anonymous

          Well he’s flawed, or he wouldn’t have been traded for two months of Dempster. Still he would be one of our best position-player prospects. I mean, Federowicz was instantly our top 15 guy.

  5. Anonymous

    Would really love it if Fife can stick and out pitch Dempster the rest of the season.  Would be quite a story.

    • Anonymous

      That sounds nice, but it would be even better if Lilly returned and outpitched Dempster, and Fife, God bless him, went back to AAA.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I had the same thought – that would be awesome, and ring true the words “sometimes the best trade is the one not made” or whatever that saying is.

      • Anonymous

        The best trade I ever made was the trade I never made-credited to Branch Rickey

  6. I don’t understand the reluctance to give up Lindblom. He’s pitched pretty well….but I can think of a hundred middle relievers that also pitched pretty well for the Dodgers…then passed silently into the night. Yes, Victorino is probably a rental (I hope he plays so well that he will DEFINITELY be a rental), but we gave up no one of compelling value.

    There are three types of prospects, in my view:

    1. Organizational players…in other words, not prospects at all.
    2. Tradeable assets…prospects with real major league potential, but not considered core to the teams future (hello there, Ethan Martin, Jerry Sands, Scott Van Slyke).
    3. Core prospects…guys that project to be a key part of successful Dodger ballclubs in the future. Right now the team is short on those… Zach Lee, Puig, maybe a couple of others.

    Any trade that improves the major league club by moving a tradeable asset or an organizational player is a good one, to me…even for a rental. To trade a core prospect, you must receive a real impact player that will be under your control. I would’ve included Lee for Shoo, for instance.

    In this deal today, we lost nothing of consequence and we got better.

    • Anonymous

      If Victorino gets any juice outta the trade such as Hanley has seemed to the next 2 months could be lotsa fun.

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      You make a good argument on the giving up end but not on the receiving one. All you have said, I believe, is he’s only 31 but he is doing only slightly worse than he did in 2010, perhaps, 2011 is the outlier of the past 3 years. 
      I will hope, as you say, that Victorino plays so well the Dodgers will not match his best offer and the same for League.

    • Anonymous

      “Any trade that improves the major league club by moving a tradeable
      asset or an organizational player is a good one, to me…even for a

      I think that’s far too general a statement to make.  It depends hugely on your time horizon.  If you weight heavily the probability of a World Series win in the current year, and you think that the improvement increases that probability significantly, then you’re probably right. 

      But I also think it’s misapplied here.  I don’t think the team has a markedly higher probability of winning the 2012 WS today than it had last week or last month.  I really don’t.  IOW, I am not convinced that the team is improved, especially relative to rivals who also made deals.   Beyond that, I value the future too, and I think the probability of a future WS win might have declined (unless the future budget really is not a constraint).

  7. Anonymous

    After Dempster’s acquisition, the Rangers announced that Neftali Feliz is out for the season and will have Tommy John surgery.

    • Anonymous

      “Cash Cow Park”, LOL!

      • Anonymous

         I liked that too; Ray Ratto has  a great sense of humor.

  8. Anonymous

    Two things:
    1.  Brandon League, via Twitter, says he’s exciting to have his “old throwing partner back.”  Is that Victorino?  Did they play in high school together or something?  Wild.  
    2.  I wonder, have the Dodgers ever traded for a pitcher that no-hit them?  That’s right, League was part of that.  And in the same season?

    • I doubt the Dodgers have, and can’t imagine that’s happened too often in general, if ever. 

    • Anonymous

      >> Brandon League, via Twitter, says he’s exciting to have his “old throwing partner back.”

      I’m guessing that’s a reference to spending 2010-2011 in the bullpen with Jamey Wright.

  9. Anonymous

    Is Victorino expected to start tonight?

    • Guess not:
       Hairston LF M. Ellis 2B Kemp CF Ethier RF Ramirez 3B Rivera 1B Cruz SS Treanor C Capuano P

      • Anonymous

        Oh thank God.  I’m going tonight (!) and would hate to have to boo a Dodger.  Ha.

  10. Worth a read: Rosenthal on why the Dodgers didn’t get Dempster:

    One key excerpt:
    “They had four young pitchers whom they refused to trade for a potential free agent such as right-hander Ryan Dempster. And they ultimately lost Dempster to the Texas Rangers when none of their other offers satisfied the Chicago Cubs.The four untouchables in the Dempster talks, according to major-league sources, were right-handers Zach Lee, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, and left-hander Chris Reed.”

    Good, I say. I want all those guys in the system and at least one of them can help Dodgers soon.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I had mentioned the 3 of those.  I assumed Ruby was a given.  I agree, I’m glad that Ned didn’t give in.  If Theo believes nothing else was as good as what he got from Texas then good for him.

    • Agreed…Rubby is core…

    • Anonymous

      Wonder why Rosenthal mentioned Ely and Webster, but not Fife?

    • Anonymous

       Good. So it sounds like Colletti made the right decision for the right reason.

  11. Anonymous

    Lineups for tonight:

    Batting first, Jerry Hairst… No wait, batting first, Hanley Ramir…  No wait, batting first, Shane Victorin…

    Never mind, we’ll get back to you.  :)

    • Anonymous

      I have no problem with giving Shane the first 2 or 3 bats of the Shane/Jerry platoon in LF for the next week or so.

      I think we’ll eventually get to a point where Jerry starts a little more often.

      We need to not get swept in Atlanta.

  12. Anonymous

    I think we are a better team with Hanley and Victorino easily. But what is this about Gordon hitting 8th when he returns? This experiment is going to continue during a playoff race?

  13. Anonymous

    Looks like Colletti outsmarted himself on this one. The Giants had the guts-hope the safe play was the right one here, but I fear not. 

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