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The Rumbles Begin
by Derek Smart
Here's an interesting bit that I missed yesterday from Steve Hensen in the LA Times:
General Manager Ned Colletti is expected to explore acquiring a veteran starter by the July 31 trading deadline. Greg Maddux is a possibility, although the Dodgers passed up an opportunity this week to acquire a different player from the Chicago Cubs.
The versatile Jerry Hairston was traded to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday for infielder Phil Nevin after the Dodgers said they weren't interested. Colletti had discussions with his Cubs counterpart, Jim Hendry, and dispatched a scout to evaluate Hairston, an eight-year veteran who can play outfield and infield.
First off, I'm curious who the Cubs could have gotten for Hairston. The Dodgers have a fantabulous minor league system, but I don't know enough about specifics to be able to speculate, although, if forced to guess, based on what the Cubs acquired from the Rangers, I'd suppose that the Dodgers' farm system wasn't involved at all, and that the intended target was someone like Olmedo Saenz. No idea if LA would make that deal, again, just pure speculation based on what the Cubs wound up doing.
It is, however, exciting to think that Los Angeles would be interested in Mad Dog, even if this item may be little more than one writer's speculation (although, I'd guess that the use of a specific name like that was driven by something other than imagination). Emotionally, it would be hard to see him go, but as I and many others have said before, this team isn't going anywhere, so handshake no-trade agreement or not, dealing The Professor would be the best thing for the club.
I wouldn't expect such a thing, if it were to happen, to happen for at least a month or month and a half - the club seems bound and determined to shoot for that Astros-esque comeback scenario, no matter how improbable, and besides, it's still early enough in the season that a little waiting should garner you some added desperation from your potential trade partners - but certainly, the Dodgers with their fertile farm are the ideal organization to have these sort of discussions with. Let's hope Jim Hendry actually has the forethought to do so, and the stones to pull the trigger when the right deal presents itself.