Newsletter: Dodgers Dugout: Deal or no deal?

Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I'm confident about L.A.'s renewed Olympic bid, because there's nothing that says "Pick me!" like being your country's second choice.

Trade deadline nears

Well, so much for getting Johnny Cueto. The Kansas City Royals got him from Cincinnati for three left-handed pitching prospects. So who is left? Well, if you want a big-name pitcher, go with Cole Hamels or David Price. Hamels pitched a no-hitter on Saturday for the Philadelphia Phillies, probably raising his price. Detroit's Price is a former Cy Young Award winner, but the Tigers are in the wild-card race and get Miguel Cabrera back in a couple of weeks, so are they really sellers?

I still think the Dodgers need bullpen help, and Aroldis Chapman, the Reds' great closer, is available. But with Corey Seager and Julio Urias untouchable (and rightfully so), do the Dodgers have the pieces to move to get Chapman?

Does L.A. have enough pieces to trade for Aroldis Chapman? (Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Here's what I am betting: The Dodgers move a couple of pieces for a mid-level starter, like Dan Haren, Yovani Gallardo, Mike Leake or Aaron Harang. This will please few fans and do nothing to improve the bullpen. I hope I am wrong, and will be happy if I am. But the next edition of this newsletter could be the most important one of the season, because we should know by then what the Dodgers have, or have not, done. And if you want to look at the best and worst trade deadline deals the Dodgers have made recently, go here.

Oh, that's why

Once or twice a week, I will get an email from a Dodgers Dugout reader who wonders why L.A. refuses to give Zach Lee a chance to start when they have thrown everyone else out there at least once. Well, you got your wish. After spending nearly five years in the minors, the former first-round draft pick started against the New York Mets on Saturday. His line: 4 2/3 innings, 11 hits, seven runs. This against a team with one of the worst offenses in the league. It may take another five years for Lee to get a start.

Trade Puig?

For those of you wondering whether Yasiel Puig will be traded before the deadline, it looks as if he won’t. The Dodgers’ controlling owner, Mark Walter, is very high on Puig, and usually team owners get what they want.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig watches from the dugout against the Atlanta Braves on July 21. (Erik S. Lesser / EPA)

Evil empire

Times Giants, er, I mean, Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck says that the San Francisco Giants are the team to beat in the NL West. Please send your tweets to @stevedilbeck.

This week in Dodgers history

July 28, 1991: Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos pitches a perfect game in a 3-0 win over L.A. at Dodger Stadium.

July 29, 1996: Tommy Lasorda, 68, announces his retirement as Dodgers manager.

And finally

The Dodgers lost to the Mets on Sunday when New York's Juan Uribe singled in the winning run in the 10th inning. If only the Dodgers had a guy like Uribe: good defense, good bat, can play third and is good in the clubhouse.

Mets third baseman Juan Uribe celebrates after hitting a walk-off single against his former team, the Dodgers, on Sunday. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston.

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