And that means the Dodgers' roster could look dramatically different in 72 hours than it does now.
Judging from the wide range of players Colletti is asking other clubs for, it wouldn't be surprising if he lands two starting pitchers and not just one. Plus another hitter, not just Ramirez. Plus a reliever, and not just Choate. Money is no object for the club that just emerged from bankruptcy.
What limitation the Dodgers are working under now centers on their shortage of prospects to trade in return compared to their trade competitors (see the Zack Greinke trade).
The Dodgers have been laser-focused on Dempster all year and he seems eager to join only them, possessing the leverage to veto any deal the Cubs want to make. The Dodgers haven't backed off Dempster, but won't bid against themselves, either, and won't trade one of their few prospects for a player that could leave through free agency in two months.
So that cat-and-mouse game is likely to go down to Tuesday's Trade Deadline. The Dodgers have talked about deals for Shields, Matt Garza and others, but not just as fallbacks if a Dempster deal doesn't materialize. They were already looking for a starting pitcher before trading away Nathan Eovaldi, so they'd actually like to acquire two. Josh Johnson, however, is expected to bring a package of prospects the Dodgers can only dream about.
Then there's the bat. Victorino, also a free-agent-to-be, would be an ideal fit for a lineup that currently lacks a leadoff hitter, and should Dee Gordon return to that role, Victorino could bat sixth and protect Ramirez.
Another hitter the Dodgers covet is Milwaukee's Corey Hart, who could give the Dodgers power at first base, but the Brewers have balked at moving him so far.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.