Matt Kemp’s sprained ankle is worse than originally thought.

Matt Kemp

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has made three separate trips to the disabled list this season. (Getty Images)

Injured center fielder Matt Kemp won’t come off the disabled list once he’s eligible next Tuesday, when the Dodgers visit the St. Louis Cardinals, and there is no timetable for his return. Kemp sprained his left ankle July 21.

“By the time all four (outfielders) are ready to play, we’ll be a few weeks from the end” of the season, general manager Ned Colletti said.

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Deadline lackluster: Dodgers acquire catcher Drew Butera from the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers have acquired catcher Drew Butera from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later.

Update (1:55 p.m.): The final deal is Butera for a player to be named later or cash. He will report to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Butera, 29, was batting .229 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 26 games for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. He also appeared in two major-league games this season, going 0 for 3.

Butera missed two months earlier this season with a broken finger after being hit on the left hand by a Ramon Ortiz pitch in a Triple-A game. Butera played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic and hit .375 in 16 spring at-bats for the Twins. He is the son of former Twins catcher and current Toronto Blue Jays scout Sal Butera.

As one of five catchers listed on the Twins’ 40-man roster, Butera was expendable. He’ll give the Dodgers some organizational depth at the position behind A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz and John Baker, and could be in line for a call-up in September when rosters expand.

Butera gives the Dodgers 40 players on their 40-man roster.

That was the only trade the Dodgers completed before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline. Teams can still trade players who pass through waivers before August 31.

Padres unite Ian Kennedy, Carlos Quentin in trade with Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers haven’t completed any trades this morning, and don’t appear to be close on any either. They have had some interest in making trades within their division, but that’s a difficult proposition. Especially when you’re in first place, the rest of the division trying to knock you off your perch.

That didn’t stop the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres from pulling off a rare intradivision swap Wednesday morning. The Padres receive starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, while the Diamondbacks receive relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor-leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick.

The trade unites Kennedy and outfielder Carlos Quentin in San Diego, the two players responsible for inciting benches-clearing brawls with the Dodgers this season.

Daily Distractions: How Ned Colletti plans to upgrade the Dodgers’ bench.

Andre Ethier reacts happily to scoring the game-winning run Tuesday. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

When Yasiel Puig was in the midst of his historic first week with the Dodgers, one question hovered around the team: What would the Dodgers do if all four outfielders were healthy?

Since then, the question has quietly faded into the background. Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Puig have been healthy enough to play in the same game exactly once. That game ended with Kemp spraining his ankle and going back on the disabled list, and he’s still there.

So with the trade deadline set for 1 p.m. today, the Dodgers are expected to keep all four outfielders.

I asked Ned Colletti about it anyway, and his response was interesting.

“You always talk about addressing your bench,” he said. “That’s something we think about, but when you get your four outfielders back, you’ve got somebody that’s not starting that game, that’s obviously a really good problem.”

Basically, Colletti turned the question of how to handle the four-outfielder situation into a question about how to upgrade the Dodgers’ bench. The answer is that either Kemp, Crawford, Puig or Ethier becomes a bench player as soon as Kemp comes off the disabled list (and Don Mattingly said Tuesday that he plans to play Kemp as soon as he comes off the DL). It makes sense; the Dodgers won’t be able to acquire a better bench player in a trade today without mortgaging their farm system. And — getting way ahead of ourselves here — if the Dodgers advance to the World Series they will have an obvious choice for a designated hitter sitting on their bench, a luxury few National League teams enjoy when they play in an American League park.

The likely takeaway: Ethier isn’t going anywhere today and the Dodgers aren’t likely to add a position player. They aren’t closing the book on adding a starting pitcher, but are not desperate for change with Chris Capuano pitching adequately for a number-five and Stephen Fife preparing to come off the DL. (The teams that pull the trigger on last-minute deals usually do so with a sense of desperation.)

There are some question marks in the bullpen in Carlos Marmol (13.50 ERA) and Chris Withrow (nine career games), but there are also reinforcements waiting in Brian Wilson and Jose Dominguez. So don’t be surprised if the Dodgers stand pat.

Some bullet points for a trade deadline day:
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Dodgers officially sign Brian Wilson.

Brian WilsonThe Dodgers officially announced a one-year, major-league contract with free agent right-hander Brian Wilson this afternoon. The former Giants closer will report to the Dodgers’ facility in Glendale, Arizona to begin his comeback from Tommy John surgery.

“The one thing we’ve talked about is that power quality arm on the back end,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “This is another guy that gives us that, we think, (who can) get the ball to Kenley [Jansen]. It’s one of the areas we felt could still help us.”

In his prime Wilson was a three-time All-Star (2008, 2009, 2011) and saved a major-league high 163 games from 2008-11. He saved six games in seven tries during the 2010 postseason, and was on the mound when the Giants clinched their 2010 World Series victory. He pitched only two games in April 2011 before having the season-ending surgery.
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Arizona Fall League assignments announced; Dodgers affiliated with Glendale Desert Dogs.

The Arizona Fall League coach and team assignments were announced Tuesday, and the Dodgers will affiliate with the Glendale Desert Dogs, which will play its home games out of Camelback Ranch.

The Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins will also assign players to the Desert Dogs, which will be managed by Jeff Smith. Johnny Washington, the hitting coach at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, will be the team’s hitting coach.

The season begins October 8.

Daily Distractions: Dodgers reportedly sign Brian Wilson to minor-league contract.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson has appeared in two major-league games since the end of the 2011 season. (Getty Images)


According to multiple reports this morning, the Dodgers have signed former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson to a minor-league contract.

Wilson, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2012, tried out for the New York Mets in January but was unimpressive. Pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery typically need 12 to 18 months to fully recover, sometimes more, so it stands to reason that Wilson has improved considerably in the last six months. He tried out recently with representatives from several teams in attendance; conveniently for the Dodgers, Wilson lives in Southern California.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was the Giants’ assistant general manager in 2003, when San Francisco took Wilson in the 23rd round of the June draft. Evidently Wilson bore some resemblance to his pre-Tommy John self at the recent tryout, beard and all.

As we reasoned yesterday, the Dodgers don’t really need to add a player with the non-waiver trade deadline about 24 hours away. They still might make a trade. But signing a pitcher who’s appeared in two games since the end of 2011 — to a minor-league deal, no less — isn’t the kind of impact move that contenders gear up for at the trade deadline, regardless of his reputation or facial hair. Wilson’s resumé includes more saves from 2008 to 2011 (163) than any pitcher in baseball.

Rather it’s a move that signals the Dodgers are looking ahead to the postseason. Wilson has 10 games of postseason experience, all with the Giants during their 2010 World Series run. That year, he saved six games in seven opportunities. Wilson would still have to be added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster between now and October but, as was the case with Carlos Marmol, it makes sense for a contending team to stockpile former closers as Plans A, B and C should Kenley Jansen falter, or fall victim to illness (like last year) or injury.

The Dodgers have that luxury with Brandon League, Marmol and now Wilson.

Onto some bullet points:
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Daily Distractions: Maybe the Dodgers don’t need to make any trades.

Dodgers Red Sox trade

Last year it was Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto. Who will be on a plane to Los Angeles this year?

OK. Time for some numbers.

In July, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has been among the best in the National League in terms of ERA, fielding-independnt pitching (FIP) and batting average against, and they’re getting more run support.

Throw in their MLB-best 18-5 record this month, and the Dodgers look like baseball’s least likely team to acquire a major-league player at the trade deadline. There aren’t any bombshells on the horizon this year, unlike a year ago, when Dodger Stadium was hailing firebombs full of big-name acquisitions.

There is usually room for at least a minor upgrade, of course, and general manager Ned Colletti has mentioned the bullpen as a possible area for improvement. While Carlos Marmol has underwhelmed since becoming a Dodger, number-five starter Stephen Fife can return from his rehab assignment this weekend (his turn comes around Saturday), meaning incumbent number-five starter Chris Capuano could go to the bullpen as a long reliever. That could be the upgrade Colletti aims for.

The Atlanta Braves took one veteran reliever off the market Monday morning, acquiring Scott Downs from the Angels. Other contenders are in the market for relievers too, teams that are probably more hungry for relief pitching than the Dodgers.

For now, at least. Like last year, the horizon is farther away than it looks. The Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett/Nick Punto trade didn’t go down until August 25 of last year. Joe Blanton became a Dodger on August 3.

Inevitably, some deals are being discussed right now that will fizzle, some will go down before 1 p.m. Wednesday, and others won’t be consummated until August. So we won’t really know what team the Dodgers are taking into September until September, though it will probably look a lot like this one.

Some bullet points for a Global Tiger Day:
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Dodgers spoil Shin-Soo Choo’s moment in the spotlight — twice.

Shin-Soo Choo has attracted a lot of attention since his Cincinnati Reds landed in Los Angeles. He and Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu are the only two Korean-born players active in the major leagues, and tomorrow’s game with Ryu starting has been a focal point of the Korean-language media the past two days.

Shin-Soo  Choo

Korean-born Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had a larger press conference Thursday than perhaps any visiting players at Dodger Stadium this year. (J.P. Hoornstra on Instagram)


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Skip Schumaker discusses Ryan Braun and Mark McGwire.

Ryan Braun

Dodgers utilityman Skip Schumaker believes Ryan Braun should be suspended from Major League Baseball for life. (Getty Images)

Dodgers utilityman Skip Schumaker was among the most outspoken players on the topic of Ryan Braun‘s recent suspension. Here’s what he said:

“Watching him talk right now makes me sick,” Schumaker said. “I can’t stand it. It needs to be eliminated from the game. I have an autographed Braun jersey in my baseball room that I’ll be taking down. I don’t want my son identifying what I’ve worked so hard to get to and work so hard to have, I don’t want him comparing Braun to me.

“In my opinion, he should be suspended — lifetime ban. One strike, you’re out. It’s enough. It’s ridiculous,” Schumaker added. “He lied to a lot of people. I was convinced, after that MVP, that he didn’t do it.”

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