Having lost six in a row, the Dodgers have slipped to nine games out in the NL West and seven out in the wild card. We're only a couple of days removed from the July trade deadline, but you have to wonder if the Dodgers might be inclined to switch to sell mode later this month.
The Dodgers were labeled trade deadline winners by some, mostly because they added multiple veteran players in Scott Podsednik, Ted Lilly, and Octavio Dotel. The cost was Blake DeWitt and a handful of decent prospects. What's done is done, though, and GM Ned Colletti can only look forward. If at some point this month he determines the Dodgers are not contenders in 2010, it makes sense to turn around and shop Podsednik, Lilly, and Dotel. Podsednik and Dotel figure to void their 2011 options and hit the open market. And although Lilly profiles as a Type A free agent and the other two as Bs, recent history suggests the Dodgers may not be willing to offer arbitration to any of them.
If Colletti's focus turns to 2011, the Dodgers could shake up the August trade market. Manny Ramirez, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla, Ronnie Belliard, Reed Johnson, and Jeff Weaver are also free agents after the season. Colletti could clear significant payroll space for next year by trading some of these players or even just handing over contracts if they're claimed. He could also get a jump on trading catcher Russell Martin, who is a candidate to be traded in December.