Foxsport's Ken Rosenthal has a story out that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has talked to the Indians about trading for starting pitcher Cliff Lee. I like the fact that Colletti is being aggressive in pursuit of a front of the rotation pitcher to team up with Chad Billingsley.
The Indians asking price is apparently too much, which is not surprising since Lee won the AL Cy Young award last year. The Indians want a potential ace similar to Tommy Hanson or Clay Buchholz, but the Dodgers lack that potential ace. What the Dodgers do have is several pitching prospects who could be a step below the Hansons of the world in James McDonald, Scott Elbert, Ethan Martin and Chris Withrow. Well, maybe a step and a half to two steps behind, but still talented.
The Dodgers promoted Scott Elbert to AAA Albuquerque on Tuesday. Elbert has made it all the way back from shoulder surgery two years ago, and has been dominant at AA Chattanooga. Elbert, who had a shot to make the Dodgers bullpen out of spring training, was back to starting in AA, where he was 2-3 in 11 starts with a 3.90 ERA. In 62+ innings, he struck out 87, but walked 30. In his last 5 starts at AA, covering 29 innings, he struck out 47 and walked 15.
The Dodgers appear to be showcasing Elbert for a potential deal with the promotion to AAA yesterday. It is also no coincidence that GM Ned Colletti travelled to see Elbert pitch last week, and saw him strikeout 10 and walk 5 in 5 innings of work.
The Dodgers could package Elbert and McDonald with low A SS Dee Gordon who has recently received praise from bothe Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus as one of the rising Dodgers prospects. BP's Kevin Goldstein goes as far as saying that Gordon is the Dodgers best prospect, and says his ceiling is Jimmy Rollins.
Should the Dodgers land Lee, they would be the NL favorite to make the World Series. But the price, at this point, may be too much. I have a feeling that we won't see many deal until the final few days leading up to the July 31st trade deadline.