SAN FRANCISCO >> Despite rumors swirling around outfielder Matt Kemp, and the recent struggles of several veteran pitchers, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that “we may not do anything” between now and the non-waiver trade deadline of 1 p.m. Thursday.
“We have a club that’s solid, still has a lot of upside. Have we won four games in a row yet?”
The Dodgers posted the National League’s best record before the All-Star break but are just 9-10 in July. Saturday, Colletti looked beyond those mixed signals and expressed faith in his current roster.
Of course, part of that faith comes from the fact that Colletti sees few opportunities to upgrade the current roster.
“As of today there’s probably fewer teams in that sell mode than a lot of years,” he said. “You’re not going to find a lot of young players traded to a contender. Guys with two, three, four years of service. It’s a very small market.
“Teams get more serious with 48 hours to go, 24 hours to go, and 30 minutes to go.”
History indicates Colletti will get serious at some point. During his time at the helm, he’s been among the more active GMs in terms of trades — some big, some small — before and after the July 31 deadline.
Kemp, in particular, has a large enough contract ($85.5 million over the next five years) that he can probably pass through waivers without being claimed — a requirement for players who are traded after July 31. But the shrinking market size could work against Colletti’s efforts to trade Kemp, which have reportedly picked up in recent days. Colletti would not comment specifically on those efforts.
“It’s incumbent on every GM to listen to teams,” Colletti said.
Both he and manager Don Mattingly were encouraged by the Dodgers’ 8-1 win over the Giants on Friday. It was Yasiel Puig‘s first start in center field this season, a position that Puig has been itching to play “for a while,” Colletti said.
However, Colletti added that top center field prospect Joc Pederson would be a candidate for an emergency recall. Pederson, who is batting .327 with 21 home runs and 25 stolen bases at Triple-A, isn’t currently on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
“I think he’s in a good spot,” Colletti said. “I think he’s getting better. I think he learns every day. He’s got things to work on and he knows it … which at his age, his experience, is pretty sharp.”