Colletti still looks for a deal

Casey Blake said he last heard from Cliff Lee a few days ago.

“He texted me joking around to ask me if he was going to be a Dodger,” Blake said.

The answer came Wednesday: No.

The Cleveland Indians traded Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies for four prospects, leaving the Dodgers in search of a veteran arm to add to their pitching staff with the non-waiver trade deadline on Friday fast approaching.


“I wish we could’ve gotten him,” said Blake, who was acquired by the Dodgers from the Indians a year ago.

Blake said he was asked about his former teammate by Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti. The Dodgers felt they presented the Indians with a solid package of prospects for the 30-year-old left-hander, who has a $9-million club option for 2010.

Colletti said Wednesday that the Dodgers have narrowed their list of trade targets and that they are looking for both starters and relievers.

“It’s not a wide group,” Colletti said. “It’s a limited number of guys who we think can be a positive impact for us.”


Colletti said he didn’t want to part with any of the key components of his 25-man roster.

The Dodgers remain in conversations with the Baltimore Orioles about closer George Sherrill. They are longshots to land Toronto ace Roy Halladay, who would require the Dodgers to part with five or six prospects.

Schmidt to start Friday

The first start that Jason Schmidt made resulted in a victory and the second a lopsided loss.


Saying he was “curious” to find out which was a more accurate reflection of Schmidt’s present abilities, Manager Joe Torre announced that the right-hander would start for the Dodgers in Atlanta on Friday.

“At this point, I’m basing this on the fact that this guy’s worked as hard as he’s worked to get back,” Torre said. “He’s at a crossroads in his career. He’s trying to get used to pitching with different abilities.”

Team’s Scully response

In response to Vin Scully’s statement to Times columnist Bill Plaschke that he planned to retire from broadcasting Dodgers games after the 2010 season, the Dodgers released a statement Wednesday that said: “Our fans and the entire Dodger organization are thrilled that Vin will be back for an unprecedented 61st season in 2010. There’s never been anyone better and if the time comes that he decides to exit the booth, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”


Short hops

Left-hander Scott Elbert was a last-minute scratch from his scheduled start for triple-A Albuquerque. He wasn’t pulled for trade purposes, said Colletti, who wouldn’t elaborate further. . . . Laughing, utilityman Mark Loretta said he was “well rested” when he took the mound in the eighth inning Tuesday night. Loretta pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati on June 20, 2001 and tossed a scoreless eighth inning that day, giving up a hit, walking one and striking out two.

Times staff writer Diane Pucin contributed to this report.