Big Deal May Still be in the Works for L.A.

With the trading deadline rapidly approaching, rumors that the Dodgers are in line to pick up a headline player -- or two -- are circulating around he halls of baseball. General Manager Ned Colletti has been working the phones in an attempt to add an important piece or two to the club before the Monday deadline.

With the club already having picked up reliever Elmer Dessens and infielder Wilson Betemit in the past week, it now appears that the Dodgers are among the primary suitors for two of the game's elite players in Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada and Washington left fielder Alfonso Soriano, as well as one of its all-time greats in Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Despite three of the four Dodger infielders being primarily shortstops (Izturis, Furcal, Garciaparra), Tejada appears to be the most likely acquisition of the three, but he probably would cost the Dodgers a significant young player or two. He also is in just the third season of a six-year, $72 million contract that is heavily backloaded, and is due to receive $38 million over the next three seasons.

Any deal for Tejada would Obviously involve moving him or Rafael Furcal to second base. Cesar Izturis. Izturis, a former Gold Glove shortstop, probably would be included in a package of players going to the Orioles.

Maddux, 40, is in the final season of a three-year, $24 million contract and would amount to a two-month rental for the pennant race. The Dodgers aren't likely to give up much in the way of valued prospects to get him, but the Cubs probably would want a major leaguer in return to offset the public-relations aspect of trading a 300-game winner, first-ballot Hall of Famer and Chicago icon.

Soriano, arguably the top prize leading up to this year's deadline but also a free agent after the season, is the long shot of the three. The Dodgers were out of the Soriano sweepstakes for some weeks but reportedly are now one of four teams bidding for his services along with the Angels, Minnesota and Houston.

His price tag is believed to be two or three of the Dodgers' young major leaguers or top prospects, which Colletti has said he would not be interested in.

Colletti, citing baseball's rules against tampering, declined to address any of those players specifically.

"I would say since the middle of Thursday night to Friday morning, things picked up considerably," Colletti told the Daily News. "We're talking to other clubs, and different players are being discussed. Some of them, I believe, could have a great impact, and as the deadline nears, we'll obviously get a better sense of where both parties stand."

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