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Dodgers Miss on Dempster

After weeks of negotiating, the Dodgers lost out on Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, who was dealt to the Rangers at the deadline. — Ken Gurnick

Victorino for Lindblom, Martin

The Dodgers have acquired Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino for reliever Josh Lindblom and Minor League pitcher Ethan Martin. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Closing in on Victorino

The Dodgers are close to adding veteran leadoff hitter Shane Victorino to their collection of stars in a trade with the Phillies for reliever Josh Lindblom and a Minor Leaguer, according to a baseball source. Lindblom became expendable with the Tuesday night acquisition of reliever Brandon League. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Still Target Dempster, Victorino

The Dodgers are still focusing on starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and leadoff-hitting outfielder Shane Victorino as their top two trade targets by Tuesday’s deadline. The club has also been rumored in talks for starting pitchers James Shields and Matt Garza, slugger Corey Hart, reliever Brandon League and outfielder Hunter Pence. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Talking Backup Deals

The Dodgers, still focused on acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, continue to hold talks to line up back-up deals if the Cubs won’t make the Dempster deal. The Dodgers are rumored to be involved with almost every starting pitcher on the trade block, from James Shields and Josh Johnson to Zach Greinke and Matt Garza. Chairman Mark Walter said Wednesday after the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez that the team wasn’t done making moves, and picking up salary is no longer a hurdle for a club that was in bankruptcy less than three months ago. The Dodgers also are looking for another bat and have been linked to Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, among others. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Still in Dempster Derby

A grinning Ted Lilly, the Dodgers’ unofficial recruiter-in-chief of Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, overheard clubhouse talk about the Braves acquiring his friend and suggested a writer check Dempster’s twitter feed, knowing that the pitcher had announced he knew nothing about being traded. And Dempster has 10-and-five complete veto power over any deal, so those speculating that the right-hander will wind up at Dodger Stadium could still be correct. Especially, as some suspect, Dempster has told the Cubs that the Dodgers are the only team to which he’ll approve a trade. If that’s the case, the Cubs either trade him to the Dodgers or keep him through this season, after which he’ll be a free agent. — Ken Gurnick

Is Garza Next Dodgers Target?

After the Dodgers missed out on acquiring starting pitcher Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, speculation turned to Dempster’s former Cubs teammate, right-hander Matt Garza, as general manager Ned Colletti’s next target. One report said the Dodgers will trade top pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs for Garza, but a baseball source said that is premature. Lee is reportedly the player the Cubs asked for in the Dempster talks, but the Dodgers didn’t want to move Lee for a two-month rental player (Dempster will be a free agent after this season). Garza remains under club control through arbitration for one more season, so the speculation reasons that the Dodgers are more willing to deal Lee for Garza than they were for Dempster. One problem with that theory is the Dodgers need a run-producing corner infielder at least as badly as a starting pitcher, and it might take Lee to land that hitter. Lee apparently still has significant trade value, even though he has struggled to a 9.45 ERA since being promoted to Double-A last month. The Dodgers farm system is thin in the kind of quality prospects needed to land the premier players on the trade market. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Waiting on Cubs

With Ryan Dempster scheduled to start Friday, the Dodgers are waiting on the Cubs for a decision on whether to deal the right-hander to Los Angeles. The Dodgers have made an offer, but won’t get in a bidding war because they also still need offense (preferably a corner infielder) even more than they need Dempster. And the farm system is thin in the kind of prospects needed to land All-Star caliber players like Dempster, San Diego third baseman Chase Headley, Shane Victorino, Aramis Ramirez, Michael Cuddyer or Jimmy Rollins. Dempster will be a free agent after the season and can veto a deal, but is expected to accept a trade to the Dodgers, where he will be reunited with buddy Ted Lilly. — Ken Gurnick

Phillies Interest Dodgers

One hour before game time, two members of the Dodgers training staff studiously watched the Phillies hitting group that included Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino take batting practice. Maybe the trainers were killing time. Or maybe it was due diligence in preparation for a trade. With Dee Gordon disabled, Rollins is a fit as a shortstop-leadoff hitter with about $25 million remaining on his contract that the Dodgers could take off the Phillies’ hands. He’d need to waive his 10-and-five trade veto, which probably means the Dodgers would need to guarantee another $11 million in an option season. Maybe the talks will expand to include third baseman Placido Polanco or even lefty Cole Hamels, although the Dodgers wouldn’t seem to have the prospects needed for Hamels. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Cast Wide Net

Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Dempster top the Dodgers wish list as the July 31 trade deadline nears. The Dodgers also are scouting Matt Garza, Corey Hart, Zack Greinke, Chase Headley, Bryan LaHair, Michael Cuddyer and Cole Hamels, among others. The goal is to find a power-hitting corner infielder, a proven starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever. The Dodgers have the money to pick up a weighty contract like Ramirez’s ($31 million remaining), but lack the top-shelf prospects likely needed to land a Hamels. — Ken Gurnick

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