10:36am: Jackson has an article up, and takes a more definitive stance in saying the Dodgers are looking for a starter and remain interested in Maddux. Ned Colletti apparently has conversations going regarding players who would need to clear waivers. 23 year-old prospect James McDonald is a strong in-house candidate if the Dodgers want to go that way.
9:34am: Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News talked to Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who does not expect much from Brad Penny for the rest of the season (he may return as a reliever, though). Torre hinted that he would like a starting pitcher to be acquired if it’d improve upon the current fifth starter candidates, Eric Stults and Jason Johnson.
Jackson hasn’t heard anything new on the Greg Maddux front. As you may recall, Maddux was said to have cleared waivers according to ESPN’s Peter Gammons. The teams were not able to work out a trade earlier this month, because the Dodgers wanted the Padres to pay roughly 83% of Maddux’s remaining salary. That amounted to $2.5MM for the Dodgers back then; now it’s about $1.95MM.
The Dodgers are in a dead heat for first place in the NL West, so every win is crucial. Last year they were willing to take on $8MM for a massive question mark in Esteban Loaiza, but this year they’re trying to keep deals payroll-neutral.