The Dodgers have long been considered a likely contender for Cole Hamels on the free-agent market.

But what about now? What about on this month's trade market?

Yes, they're interested, but they appear to be something of a longshot to make a deal with the Phillies. The Dodgers have spoken to the Phillies about Hamels, sources said Sunday, but the Phillies aren't thrilled with the players the Dodgers could offer in return.

The Dodgers remain aggressive in their pursuit of both starting pitching and hitting. Their need for pitching may have become more urgent with the news Sunday that Chad Billingsley will have an MRI on his right elbow.

Cubs starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza remain high on the Dodgers' wish list. The Dodgers have also expressed interest in outfielders Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies and Josh Willingham of the Twins, although it's not clear how willing either team would be to move them.

While Dempster and Garza wouldn't be cheap, the Cubs would be more willing to take players who are farther from the big leagues. The Phillies, who intend to try to compete next year, are focused on players who can help more in the short term.

According to Tracy Ringolsby of Rockies broadcaster Root Sports, the Dodgers, Angels and Rangers all had scouts in Denver to watch Hamels' Sunday start against the Rockies.

The Phillies, meanwhile, have had a scout at Yankee Stadium this weekend, perhaps watching Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos. Bourjos, who has become more expendable with the move of Mark Trumbo to the outfield, started two of the three games against the Yankees.

It's not yet a certainty that Hamels will be traded. The Phillies would still like to sign him to an extension that would keep him off this winter's free-agent market.