After being linked to Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price and in recent days Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, another lefty was added to Los Angeles Dodgers trade rumors Monday — Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies had previously stated Hamels wasn’t on the trading block, but appear to have reversed course as they continue to fade in the National League East standings. By Monday evening, the Boston Red Sox had reportedly warmed to the idea of potentially trading both Lester and John Lackey.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Lackey is another pitcher the Dodgers are considering in their search for a starting pitcher:
Maybe it goes without saying, but sources say the #Dodgers are investigating every top available starter – Price, Lester, Hamels, Lackey.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2014
Price is undeniably the cream of the crop among the pitchers who are believed to be on the market. However, in order to land him, the Dodgers would likely have to part with more elite prospects than they’ve said they’re willing to.
The Phillies are reportedly asking for a large haul in order to pry Hamels out of their hands, which may also deter the Dodgers. Both Lackey and Lester are in the final year of their respective contracts, with Lackey’s including a $500,000 team option for 2015.
Lackey’s option kicked in due to a stipulation in his contract that was triggered following his Tommy John surgery in 2012. While Lackey presents the opportunity to provide more help past this season, he’ll also be 36 years old in October, which makes him the oldest among the foursome
Lackey, Lester and Price have each reached double-digit wins this season; with Lester the only pitcher to do so with a sub-3.00 ERA.
While general manager Ned Colletti has mentioned his desire to avoid gutting the farm in any trade, the Dodgers hand may be pressed given the uncertainties of Josh Beckett and Dan Haren.
Beckett struggled in his first start since coming off the disabled list and is likely to battle a hip injury all season. Meanwhile Haren has suffered four consecutive losses and is being skipped over in his next scheduled start (Wednesday).
With Beckett taking the mound Tuesday, the Dodgers will get another look at the veteran right-hander to perhaps determine how aggressively they’ll need to pursue a starting pitcher before Thursday’s non-waiver deadline.
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