Still shopping: Dodgers looking to add bat, starter

Still shopping: Dodgers looking to add bat, starter

Still shopping: Dodgers looking to add bat, starter
ST. LOUIS -- The Dodgers landed the middle-of-the-order bat they've been looking for in Hanley Ramirez, but general manager Ned Colletti on Wednesday said he's still looking for a starting pitcher and another hitter.

"We're still hunting for starting pitching. We won't let this deal stand in the way of that," said the general manager, who dealt starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and Minor League pitcher Scott McGough to the Marlins for Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

"There's been a lot of speculation and it takes a lot to get a deal done -- not only from the two teams' sides, but from the player's side as well."

That's Colletti's way of avoiding tampering charges while hinting that he's still waiting for the Cubs to trade him starting pitcher Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers have been laser focused on Dempster all season. Disabled Dodgers starter and recruiter-in-chief Ted Lilly, one of Dempster's closest friends, made a similar move from Chicago to Los Angeles at the Trade Deadline two years ago.

Colletti said he won't necessarily stop with a starting pitcher.

"We're in the starting-pitcher market," he said. "We're in the market for another position player, maybe another reliever. We have the [financial] wherewithal as long as we can find somebody to do business with. We're still active.

"When you've played as hard and gone through the adversity of injuries that our players have done, and have put us in a position to win, it's incumbent on the front office and ownership to acknowledge the effort.

"[President] Stan Kasten is all about winning. [Ownership partners]Peter Guber, Magic Johnson, the Guggenheim Group -- all very successful. They want to win badly and are willing to do whatever they can to make it happen."

Dempster has complete trade veto rights as a 10-year veteran with at least five years on his current club. He apparently already blocked a trade to the Braves and supposedly has told the Cubs he will only accept a deal to the Dodgers. Perhaps he's hoping to pull off a Lilly-like contract extension.

As was Lilly, Dempster is about to be a free agent. The Cubs supposedly want Dodgers top pitching prospect Zach Lee for Dempster; the Dodgers have balked at dealing Lee for a two-month rental. So the cat-and-mouse game could go on until Tuesday's Trade Deadline.

The Cubs could keep Dempster, but the Dodgers need a starting pitcher to replace Eovaldi. Other pitchers are believed on the radar, like Matt Garza and Zack Greinke, but Dempster is the one LA is targeted.

Now that Ramirez has joined the left side of the infield and dropped third baseman Juan Uribe a peg on the depth chart, the position player Colletti currently seeks would best be a first baseman to leap ahead of James Loney, although a third baseman or outfielder could still be an upgrade.

Among the names the Dodgers have shown interest in acquiring: Milwaukee's Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez; San Diego's Chase Headley; Philadelphia's Shane Victorino or Hunter Pence; and Colorado's Michael Cuddyer.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.