Watching their crosstown rivals boast about the acquisition of Zack Greinke, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still in need of a starting pitcher, and that arm might or might not be Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster.
The 35-year-old-right-hander, who has a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the woeful Cubs, appears to favor the Dodgers over other suitors. Earlier in the week, the Cubs and Braves had a deal in place to send him to Atlanta for promising right-hander Randall Delgado, but Dempster did not approve the trade (he has 10-5 rights) and the Braves are reportedly moving on to other options.
The Dodgers rebuffed the Cubs’ request for 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Allen Webster, but a Dempster to the Dodgers trade is still possible, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, who also says that Los Angeles is interested in Miami’s Josh Johnson and Tampa Bay’s James Shields.
Earlier in the week, the Dodgers acquired embattled infielder Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins. Ramirez was playing third base for Miami, but the Dodgers moved him back to shortstop.
Clayton Kershaw, one of the top left-handers in baseball, serves as the ace of the Dodgers rotation. Yet Chad Billingsley (4.15 ERA), injury prone lefty Chris Capuano (who has an impressive 3.13 ERA and .244 batting average against) and veteran right-hander Aaron Harang (3.39 ERA, .240 batting average against) are the team’s other starters.
Entering Friday night’s game, the Dodgers were 53-47 and three games behind the Giants in the National League West. With Capuano’s injury history, and no veteran presence in the No. 5 spot, Los Angeles desperately needs a top of the rotation arm to join Kershaw.