Seven games behind San Diego in the NL West and at a clear crossroads in their season, the Dodgers continue to pound the phones searching for starting pitching and are looking at all options.
The latest on Friday involved discussions with the Cubs on a couple of different fronts: One involving a package that would send left-hander Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers, the other a deal that would only involve Lilly, according to CBSSports.com sources.
The Dodgers are not overly enamored with Lilly in that, at 34, he is not the same pitcher he was a few years ago. But, the trade market is what it is and, with Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Dan Haren off the board, contenders looking for starting pitching are left to sort through the Lillys, Jake Westbrooks and Jeremy Guthries.
Any deal sending Lilly, or Lilly and Theriot, to the Dodgers would have to include the Cubs shipping cash as well. One other factor that makes Lilly less attractive is that he's owed about $4 million for the rest of the summer. And given the Dodgers' precarious financial situation -- the divorce trial between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt is expected to kick off in August -- they cannot take on much salary.
A Lilly-Theriot package certainly would be more attractive to the Dodgers at this point in that Theriot, who has a .285 batting average and .321 on-base percentage, would give them more options. Bench depth has become an issue for the Dodgers, who acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik on Wednesday to help get them through Manny Ramirez's third disabled list stint of the season.
The Dodgers -- or, more likely if a deal is consummated, the Cubs -- would owe Theriot a pro-rated portion of his $2.6 million 2010 salary.
While Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti -- among the more creative GMs -- is determined to find a way to add a starting pitcher, he did note earlier this week that he would not jump at something undesirable in July because there are always ways to add help in August as well.
"We'd like to get it done by Aug. 1," he said Wednesday. "But sometimes other people come available."
Remember, the Dodgers last August alone acquired starting pitchers Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland, pinch-hitter Jim Thome and infielder Ronne Belliard. And two years ago, they added starting pitcher Greg Maddux in August.