Give up or go Down Fighting?

Ten games remain until the All-Star break, and those 10 games will go a long way to determining if general manager Ned Colletti will be a buyer or seller at the July 31 trading deadline. On the surface, selling looks like a no-brainer. The Dodgers went into their day off Thursday at a season-worst 10 games under .500, and in last place in the National League West, 10 1/2 games behind the Giants.

During the recent series against the Twins, Colletti indicated he hadn't made a decision whether to try improving the team for the second half, or building for the future.

If Colletti is reluctant to face the obvious, perhaps it's because he's never done it. Not in his six years as the Dodgers' general manager. Not in his decade-plus as the assistant general manager with the Giants.

It's never been his way to give up on a season, but this year he might have no choice.

With ownership uncertainty dominating the headlines for over a year, the Dodgers have endured constant injuries this year, seen their highest-paid free agent acquisitions (Ted Lilly and Juan Uribe) tank, and received uneven performances from their top prospects (Jerry Sands, Dee Gordon and Rubby De La Rosa), who were rushed to the majors.

Short of a 10-game winning streak, or even an 8-2 run against the Angels, Mets and Padres, Colletti will spend the All-Star break huddled with his top advisers to determine which players to shop.

Don't worry, Dodgers fans, Matt Kemp isn't going anywhere. Same with Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier and Chad Billingsley. The rest of the veterans should be considered.

A story appeared Wednesday in the San Jose Mercury News about possibly trading Uribe back to the Giants, but that rumor was quickly shot down by the Giants.

After signing Uribe to a three-year, $21 million contract, the Dodgers probably are stuck with that contract, unless they eat most of his salary. Reliever Jonathan Broxton is shut down again for at least three weeks, so he won't be dangled to contending teams before his impending free agency this offseason.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal will return from the disabled list soon, perhaps by Friday, and he could be intriguing. When healthy, he's a difference maker. But he's been unable to stay healthy going on four years now.

A trade of Furcal would allow Gordon to play the rest of the year at shortstop.

The easiest player to trade would be infielder Jamey Carroll. He's cheap, a free agent at season's end, can play three infield positions, a great character guy, and a .372 on-base percentage gets teams' attention. The biggest difference-maker would be starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. He's also a free agent at season's end, playoff tested, and having another solid season (3.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) despite poor support that's led to a deceptive 5-9 record.

What would the Dodgers want in return? Like most teams, young starting pitching.

Now that Rubby De La Rosa is in the majors, the Dodgers starting pitcher depth is virtually non-existent. They have castoffs Ian Snell and Dana Eveland at Class AAA Albuquerque, but their best prospects (Nathan Eovaldi and Allen Webster) are still at Class AA Chattanooga and a year away.

They're also lacking major league ready hitting prospects, especially at catcher and third base.

NOTES, QUOTES
--CF Matt Kemp ended June with a .375/.472/.795 slash line, along with 23 RBI and eight stolen bases. It's the best month of his major league career, and makes him a leading candidate for Player of the Month. This was the second time this year Kemp had an OPS over 1.000 in a month.

--RHP Hiroki Kuroda figures to be heavily scouted by contending teams each start from now until the end of July. He starts Friday against the Angels, whose hitters are a combined 5-for-28 (.179) off him. Erick Aybar (1-for-6) is the only player with more than five at-bats against Kuroda. --RHP Matt Guerrier, after a great start, was the most-used and most-hit Dodger reliever in June. His 12 2/3 innings were the most among Dodger relievers, and he allowed nine runs on 15 baserunners for a 6.39 ERA.

--C Rod Barajas (sprained right ankle) will play a couple rehab games this weekend, then is expected to get activated from the disabled list Monday or Tuesday. The Dodgers will have to decide whether to send A.J. Ellis back to Class AAA Albuquerque yet again, or whether to cut ties with Dioner Navarro, who has thrown well, but has a .170/.229/.260 slash line.

--Fernando Valenzuela, now a member of the Dodgers Spanish Radio broadcast team, will throw out the first pitch in Anaheim on Friday to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, his longtime catcher with the Dodgers. Valenzuela pitched for all three Southern California teams, including the Padres, in his career.

BY THE NUMBERS:
4 -- Save opportunities for the Dodgers in their last 32 games. Even the Marlins have nine save chances in that time. The Dodgers converted two of those four chances.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"At any level, if you're not wanting to compete and do well all the time, you shouldn't be playing. That's why they give you such a long season. You never know what can happen. You play hard and make it a better story for you to write at the end." -- 1B James Loney, echoing what many of his teammates continue preaching about not giving up or waiving a white flag on the season.

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