Dan Haren could not do what Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw could in Colorado, as he was hit around for eight runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings on Saturday. A late rally from an 8-2 hole nearly took him off the hook, but it wasn't enough as the Dodgers fell 8-7. The Giants beat the Padres in extra innings, so the Dodgers' lead in the NL West falls to a 1/2 game.
Not surprisingly, with the Dodgers the ultimate "win now" team, the talk of going after Rays ace David Price is starting to heat up.
The reasons are twofold. As I tweeted out during the game, Haren is easily the weak link of the rotation at this point. True, he's in a tough spot when the highest ERA amongst Greinke, Kershaw, Josh Beckett, and Hyun-Jin Ryu is Ryu's 3.08. But still, Haren's ERA has shot up to 4.06. His ERA entering June was 3.28.
Unless the Dodgers want to hand the ball to Paul Maholm and his 5.17 ERA, or dip into their minor league system, Haren will remain the fifth starter.
That brings us to the renewed interest in Price. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has an interesting take on the situation. To sum it up, he says the Dodgers want Price mostly to accelerate their ongoing TV discussions between Time Warner and Direct TV since another superstar is in the fold. For those of you not in LA, roughly 70% of that market is blacked out from games. Just imagine how great that made them feel when they couldn't even watch Kershaw's no-hitter.
The other side to it, of course, is that Price is just filthy good. Right now he's 7-7 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Don't be fooled, though, because a 2.27 ERA in five June starts has reminded people why he's so good. He regularly goes 7-8 innings, as it's been nine starts since he didn't reach at least the seventh.
Like many big trades, the Dodgers certainly have the money, so it comes down to the prospects. The Dodgers have those as well in guys like Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Zach Lee. Do the Dodgers move some of those guys (like the A's moved some of their prospects to pick up Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel), or do they draw the line there?
That's where we come back to Haren. If he continues to tumble, then there's no doubt in my mind the Dodgers will be willing to pull the trigger. Putting Price with Kershaw and Greinke is just a ridiculous top of the rotation. Then sprinkle in Beckett and Ryu for fourth and fifth games, and that's an unbelievable starting staff.
Let's hope that if the Dodgers do make an offer for Price, both teams can find some common ground so the top prospects don't end up in Tampa Bay. Seeing Price in Dodger blue would be amazing, but is it worth trading away the future? Do the Dodgers want to end up like the Yankees where they're constantly trading away prospects and leaving their minor league system bare? I sure hope not.
I would love to see Price in LA, just as the people of LA would love to actually turn the TV on and watch their favorite team play. Let's hope both the team and the fans get what they want. Let's also hope that the minor league system isn't left with nothing when it's all said and done.