Along with the Red Sox and Mets, the Dodgers are advised by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus to start gearing up for 2011 rather than trying to make a run in 2010 (link is espn.com insider only):
Los Angeles Dodgers: Harder to jump two teams than one
Should they sell? The postseason odds here are worse than Boston's -- the Dodgers have a 20 percent shot of October baseball right now. The San Diego Padres are not a fluke, and the San Francisco Giants are seeing their playoff odds surge as well. It looks increasingly likely that True Blue would have to jump two teams.
What could they trade? Manny Ramirez isn't coming back in 2011 and costs way too much for a deadline deal, but what about one of those Aug. 31 trades that still has him postseason-eligible? His contract should pass through waivers fairly easily, and a desperate team that thinks a motivated Manny is a good Manny might give up a little something for the one-month rental. If the team really wanted to rebuild, Hiroki Kuroda has some no-trade protection but would be an attractive starter option for many teams, as could Vicente Padilla.
What do they need? Nearly everything. What was once a player development machine has seen the gears start to grind a bit, especially when it comes to position players. There are no legitimate catchers anywhere in the system -- and they need to find some fixes at the corners for a departing Ramirez and an aging Casey Blake. Those fixes do not appear to currently be in the system; Jerry Sands has been the breakout minor leaguer of this organization in 2010, but his best position is likely first base.
I know I would have felt a lot differently had we taken the first two games against the Padres (rather than dropping one yesterday evening), but the continued dormancy of our bats has me starting to agree with sentiments like this. The starting pitching the last week has been outstanding, but I'm feeling more and more like 2010 is not going to be our year, especially with Roy Oswalt apparently heading to Philly to further augment a much stronger NL contender.
(Of course, if we can win this afternoon in San Diego, I'll probably feel like we can make a run.)