With the N.L. West race coming down to really a two team battle, the Los Angeles Dodgers are clearly on the outside looking in. But don't tell that to their front office. While San Diego is running away with things and the Giants being the only team with a realistic chance to compete with them, the Dodgers could make a handful of moves that would benefit them for years to come. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Ned Colleti will be able to swallow his pride to get it done.
First and foremost, the Mannywood days in L.A. are done and everybody knows it. Manny has worn out his welcome in Dodger Blue. He's raking in a ton of cash and giving back very little on the field (sound familiar, Matt Kemp?) since he's spent so much time on the DL once again this year. Colleti had the cajones to put the slugger on waivers and, as anticipated, the White Sox have won the waiver claim on Man-Ram but its unclear at this point whether or not a deal will get done. Trading Manny would save the Dodgers a very nice chunk of change and also net them some prospects or possibly a MLB-ready guy right now. Its silly to think that this may not get done since the benefits are so obvious. You'd have to think the Dodgers would be very aggressive sellers of Ramirez but that may not be the case.
The acquisition of Ted Lilly was a smart move approaching the trade deadline. If the Dodgers were to contend this season then Lilly would be an important piece. Things haven't worked out for the team but Lilly has been excellent. Despite his success and modest price tag, the Dodgers have place Lilly on waivers. The only reason to trade Lilly would be if the Dodgers were truly rebuilding but with their talent and reluctance to trade the aging and injured Ramirez, rebuilding doesn't appear to be the case. Lilly is affordable and effective but he is made available while Ramirez is expensive and ineffective (yet somehow in demand) and they won't make the deal with the White Sox. Is anyone else confused here?
The Los Angeles Dodgers need to recognize the situation that their currently in. They are out of the playoff picture and should be focussing their efforts on 2011. Getting something in return for Manny Ramirez (aside from salary relief) would be a plus. Retaining Ted Lilly to help Clayton Kershaw hold down the rotation for an affordable price would set them up for next season. Will the front office see the writing on the wall in time to get things squared away and swallow their pride to ensure that it happens? We'll have to wait and see.