LOS ANGELES -- The Mariners wanted Major League-ready prospects that the Dodgers don't have in return for Cliff Lee, and Los Angeles was not going to part with Chad Billingsley or James Loney in the deal, a baseball source said.
Lee was traded to the Rangers on Saturday in a six-player deal centered on first baseman Justin Smoak, a 2008 first-round Draft pick. Most of the Dodgers' top prospects are at the Class A and Double-A levels, and L.A. countered with a package of prospects including all but one -- presumably Dee Gordon, who has 33 stolen bases and a .279 average for Double-A Chattanooga.
Without Lee, who was in the final year of his contract and owed $4.4 million, Roy Oswalt remains the biggest pitching name on the market. But Oswalt is owed a total of nearly $25 million for the rest of this season and next, and that's including a $2 million buyout for 2012. That could be too steep for the Dodgers.
Ted Lilly of the Cubs gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, although it wasn't clear what affect that had on the Dodgers' interest. Arizona's Dan Haren is reportedly available, but intra-division trades like the one the Mariners made with the Rangers for Lee are rare.
Logic might say the Dodgers are more inclined to go after a reliever with its rotation seemingly finally stable and some large question marks beyond the end-of-game relievers, like George Sherrill and Ronald Belisario, but general manager Ned Colletti reaffirmed Saturday there was no preference in acquiring a reliever or a starter.
Colletti and manager Joe Torre still had no comment on Belisario, who is on the restricted list. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday night that Belisario has enrolled in a substance abuse program.