COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Dodgers were in a position to add something to their team.
Another starting pitcher, a third baseman or reliever are areas where the Dodgers can use an improvement.
But when the dust settled after the trade deadline, the Dodgers only made a minor move, trading for Drew Butera. The move is literally a minor move, as Butera was optioned to Class AAA Albuquerque.
The Dodgers were not the only team to stand pat -- most teams did. But it was the right move for the Dodgers to not make a move for the price that was being asked.
Team president Stan Kasten said in the weeks leading up to the deadline that he would not trade anyone for a "rental."
In the Los Angeles Times, Kasten said he would look at trading a top prospect if it was a player that would help the team. Then he added, "but certainly not for a rental."
Kasten stuck to his guns and didn't make a move for a player with an expiring contract.
Cliff Lee is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in the game. And with a contract through 2015, he would not be a rental.
He would give the Dodgers three aces, slotting in between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. But the asking price, reportedly, was much too high for the 34-year-old pitcher.
In order to even consider moving Lee, the Philadelphia Phillies were asking for teams to empty their farm systems. It would have likely taken the top four prospects for the Dodgers to get the Phillies to even take the call. And even that may not have been enough.
While Lee would have been a great addition to the Dodgers, it would have involved mortgaging the future.
Instead, the Dodgers stood pat with their previous trade for Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco slots in as the fourth pitcher in the rotation, behind Kershaw, Greinke and rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu.
No third basemen on the market
Juan Uribe has, somehow, become a contributing member of the lineup and the best option at third base. Uribe gives the team solid defense, although not amazing range, and the occasional burst of power off the bat.
Just look at that 441-foot home Uribe hit against the New York Yankees earlier this week.
But Uribe is always in danger of turning back into the 2012 version of Uribe -- a free-swinging, non-hitting man who is eventually chained to the bench. So third base was a place where the Dodgers were looking for an upgrade. But there wasn't much of a market at the hot corner.
When a player with a 106 career OPS+ like Michael Young is the top name put out there, you know the market is weak. Instead, the Dodgers will finish the season with Uribe -- and hope he doesn't turn back into a pumpkin.
Can never have enough relievers
You can never have enough relief pitchers. That's one reason the Dodgers took a flier on Carlos Marmol (who, by the way, hasn't pitched in a week now). Like third basemen, however, there wasn't much on the market. And nothing that would have given the Dodgers more than Chris Withrow or Jose Dominguez.
The Dodgers actually pulled off one of the more talked-about moves near the trade deadline when they signed Brian Wilson. Wilson is coming off of Tommy John surgery and will be pitching in the minors until at least mid-August.
As with Uribe, most relievers can suddenly turn into pumpkins (see: Javy Guerra, although Guerra is quietly pitching very well in Class AAA). So having a few extra arms ready to step in in a pinch is worthwhile -- if you don't give up much.
The Dodgers gave up nothing but money for Wilson.
And if there is something this Dodgers team has, it is money.
Matthew Reichbach is a freelance writer and lifelong follower of the Dodgers from their minor league affiliates to the major league club.
You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @3_2count.
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