SAN FRANCISCO -- After watching his club fall a season-high 13 ½ games out of first place Monday night, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti Tuesday moved closer to acknowledging that it's time to look to the future.
Colletti said he still hasn't committed to being a seller, or ruled out being a buyer at the July 31 Trade Deadline.
But he said he spoke Monday with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, his most attractive trading commodity, about the possibility of a trade. Kuroda has a no-trade clause that he would need to waive, or at least modify by telling the Dodgers if he would accept a trade and, if so, to which clubs he will not agree to be dealt.
Kuroda can be a free agent after this season and the Dodgers, whether he's traded or not, are likely to want to re-sign him.
Colletti said if he picked up a player now, it would be more than renting a hired gun for this season. That's a departure from his Trade Deadline strategy in years when the Dodgers were in a division race.
In that event, he would be working with next year's payroll, which will see some relief in the free-agent departure of almost $40 million in salary from this year -- not counting raises for arbitration-eligibles Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
"At this point, for us to add somebody, it would have to be somebody we could count on next year," he said, meaning it wouldn't be a free-agent eligible.
Kuroda is the only upcoming free agent on the club with a no-trade clause, but he's not the only upcoming free agent expected to draw interest from other clubs.
That list includes Rod Barajas, Jamey Carroll, Rafael Furcal, Dioner Navarro, Mike MacDougal, Aaron Miles and Juan Rivera. Also upcoming free agents, but currently disabled: Jonathan Broxton, Casey Blake, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.