WASHINGTON — As the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline approaches, the Dodgers’ targets are far more modest than they were a year ago.
Last season, the Dodgers were determined to add star players, and they did. They acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins in July. They didn’t stop there, adding Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett in an August waiver deal with the Boston Red Sox.
General Manager Ned Colletti doesn’t anticipate his team making such franchise-altering deals this year.
“I don’t know that that player is out there,” Colletti said.
For now, Colletti said he is focused on adding a reliever.
Colletti doesn’t think the Dodgers need another starting pitcher, pointing to how Chris Capuano pitched well in his last start and Stephen Fife is close to returning from the disabled list. He also thinks a trade for a second or third baseman is unlikely.
“When I call around teams, there’s not a lot of names of position players being discussed,” Colletti said. “I’m not sure if there’s a market out there on the sell side.”
However, Colletti said the Dodgers will remain open-minded.
“You’re always one injury away from having a different need than you have at the moment,” Colletti said.
When the Dodgers acquired starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins this month, they found a trading partner more interested in ridding itself of a substantial salary than in adding top prospects. By absorbing the remainder of Nolasco’s $11.5-million salary, the Dodgers were able to acquire Nolasco for three lower-tier prospects.
But the teams with which the Dodgers are negotiating are looking to get top prospects in return, not dump salaries.
“I think with each passing day it shifts more and more toward that,” Colletti said.
Although the Dodgers are in the process of rebuilding a farm system that was depleted under their previous owner, Colletti thinks he has enough prospects to make a meaningful trade.
“I think we’ve got more pitching than people give us credit for,” Colletti said. “I think our pitching is of interest to teams.”
Kemp still on track
After hitting two home runs against Ted Lilly in a simulated game, Matt Kemp appears to still be on track to be activated from the disabled list Sunday.
Kemp has been sidelined since July 6 because of irritation in his surgically repaired left shoulder.
The first of Kemp’s two home runs was to center field. The second landed in the visiting bullpen behind the wall in left-center field.
Manager Don Mattingly anticipated Kemp would be reinstated from the disabled list for the series finale in Washington but said he would have to check with the team’s medical department first.
Kemp’s return will give the Dodgers four high-caliber outfielders: Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford.
All four will be able to play at the same time in the Dodgers’ next series, which will be in Toronto. There, the Dodgers will be able to use a designated hitter.
“I’m a happy guy in Toronto,” Mattingly said. “I don’t have to worry about it.”
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a free-agent pitcher from Cuba, is expected to agree to a deal with a major league team in the coming week, according to his agent. The Dodgers are among the teams that have scouted Gonzalez. … The Dodgers announced the additions of three international prospects: Melvyn Forbes, a 19-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic; Alberto Estrella, a 16-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic; and Moises Perez, a 16-year-old shortstop from Venezuela.