The Way It Looks to Me

Under no circumstances would I trade Alex Cora at this time. He is having a career year. His best stats over his tenure have been a batting average of .291 in 2002, 5 homers that same year and 34 runs batted in last season. With just about half the season in the books, he is ahead or close to matching those numbers. He is batting .302 with an on-base percentage of .395. He's already hit 5 HRs and driven in 18. And as far as fielding, there is no one any better.

With the above in mind, the Dodgers have two DePodesta pickups in Las Vegas who might be attractive as trade bait. Middle infielders Jose Flores and Antonio Perez. Flores is batting .330 with an OBP of .411 and 5 HRs, while Perez has boomed 12 home runs, driven in 49 and has an OBP of .393 with a .292 BA.

Koyie Hill is said to be of interest to several teams and with the Dodgers enamored with David Ross's fielding and supposed power, they might well deal Hill a switch hitter. In addition, they have Edwin Bellorin at AA Jacksonville who is an outstanding catcher and who is hitting well, batting .309 with a .361 on base percentage.

While the Dodgers need starting pitching themselves, it looks like there is some thinking of maybe trading Odalis Perez if by the end of this month, things don't look bright for making the playoffs. I would like to see them sign Odalis to a multi year contract, but he's been frustrated with the lack of run support in his Dodger career and its said he wants to test the free agent market. So trading him is not difficult to fathom.

When Paul Shuey comes back it certainly will loosen up the possibility of the Dodgers dealing a relief pitcher. I like Yhency Brazoban a lot and believe he could move into the Dodger pen, right from Jacksonville.

I would not be surprised to see GM Paul Podesta trade one of the Dodger outfielders. I like Juan Encarnacion but his batting average is much too low and his strikeouts way too high, although he is second on the team in both home runs and runs batted in.

Milton Bradley brings some passion and fire to the team which was badly needed, but is he too volatile? He's an excellent center fielder, and he's batting .280 with some punch.

Jayson Werth seems to be attracting attention with his power. Jason Grabowski bats left handed and they certainly need a lefty hitter on the bench, since Robin Ventura is likely biding time until he ultimately departs.

To me, it looks like Hideo Nomo is history. Even if he is able to come back and pitch some more later this season, it would be a major surprise if he were re-signed after this season.

My guess is if the Dodgers youngsters Edwin Jackson and Joel Hanrahan can make it in the majors and prove it this season, Kaz Ishii who remains a hot and cold starter at best, could be traded after the season.

Should the Dodgers be able to find a #2 or #3 starter this month, it will change things for this winter, what with the possible losses of Perez and Nomo facing them.

I can envision next years starting rotation to include two new quality starters coming via a trade and free agency, plus Jeff Weaver, Jackson and Hanrahan. I also would not be surprised to see someone like Derek Thompson or Ryan Ketchner to burst onto the scene.

There is absolutely no question in mind that the Dodgers will definitely acquire a big hitter, hopefully this season, but surely by next February.

I'm getting as 'antsy' right now as I was back in the late fall and early winter. I have to admit though, that I am not as yet filled with confidence about the second half.

The Giants have too much firepower, and their pitching is better than ours. And San Diego can also score a lot of runs and as always … the Dodgers can't, or at least don't.