Dodger Rumor Central

The whispers that the Dodgers and Seattle are closer to a trade that would bring righthander Freddie Garcia to Los Angeles. Garcia, just turned 28, has won 75 games, the wins in the major leagues for a pitcher under 28. He pearked at 18-6, 3.05 in 2001. He had 737 strikeouts in 989 innings while walking 357 coming into the season. He has had the lowest run support in the American League this season which has resulted in a 4-6 record despite a 3.21 ERA over 14 starts.

Los Angeles is uneasy about the performance of Hideo Nomo. despite winning 16 games each of the last two seasons, the righthander has struggled this year after undergoing a shoulder operation following the 2003 season.

Nomo was tagged a loss in the Yankee series, his third in three starts since he was activated from the 15-day disabled list almost two weeks ago and his record dropped to 3-8. Nomo leads the league in losses, his ERA is 7.26 and he's winless since April 21.

Just who is being asked for by the Mariners and offered by the Dodgers is unclear but manager Jim Tracy has been talking about "gathering information" on Jason Werth. The Dodgers have a surplus of outfielders and are believed to be interested in acquiring a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Dave Roberts or Juan Encarnacion could become the bait if the club is comfortable with Werth's bat.

Seattle General Manager Bill Bavasi knows the Dodger farm system well, having formerly served as the farm director, which would help him in selecting prospects to include in a potential trade. He recently said he would use the minor league to supply whatever was needed at the top level and the Dodgers obviously could use a] another starter and b] another strong bat in the lineup.

The usual suspect would be Edwin Jackson, a youngster with a huge upside that has had a tough time in Las Vegas so far this season despite pitching and winning a spot start in Los Angeles recently. One would assume he is still untouchable, but DePodesta can see a potential pennant in the wings and may be inclined to pull the trigger for a proven starter.

Others Bavasi might be interested in include catcher Koyie Hill, hitting over .300 at Las Vegas or perhaps Dodger backup catcher David Ross who has seen little action this year and has not shown the power he displayed in 2003.

Outfielder/first baseman Luis Garcia is pounding the ball for the 51s and leads the Dodgers system in home runs. Brian Falkenborg is pitching well and while Joel Hanrahan's numbers aren't all that strong, he is a solid prospect.

Others usually listed on other team's 'want' list include first baseman James Loney, second baseman Willy Aybar, shortstop Joel Guzman and infielder Delwyn Young.

A wanted man--Tim Wallach, in his first season as the Dodgers hitting instructor, is rumored to be among those being considered for the UCLA coaching job.

Wallach declined to comment, but his agent Alan Meersand told the Los Angeles press, "Tim is flattered that UCLA may be interested in him, but he is very satisfied working with the Dodger hitters and enjoys what he is doing."

Wallach has taken the Dodgers from a dead -- virtually -- last in 2003 to the top of the National League team averages. He would be hard to replace.

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