With the Trade Deadline on Thursday and major names like David Price, Cole Hamels, and Jon Lester being linked to the Dodgers, I have to wonder if Josh Beckett is the key in all of this.
Think about it - if Beckett goes out on Tuesday night and lays an egg, are the Dodgers going to be confident that he's healthy and will turn things around? Or will they look at their rotation as only three deep (granted a VERY deep three in Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu) and want to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade?
I think the timing is perfect for Ned Colletti, as he's probably watching Beckett more closely than ever tonight. Don't forget that Beckett went on the DL around the All-Star break with a sore hip, which at the time was explained as more of a procedural move to get him a little extra rest.
Maybe that's true, but the flip side is that he came back in Pittsburgh on July 22 and was all over the place, giving up four runs, including three homers, in only 3 2/3 innings. Not the most encouraging sign for the homestretch.
I'm not going so far to say that Beckett's start tonight is as cut and dry as if he does bad, they make a trade; if he does well, they don't. Maybe Colletti already has something lined up for a guy like Lester, and Beckett's health is just a bonus. Nobody knows right now, but we all will within the next couple of days.
We all know that the Dodgers are as active as any team every year at the end of July, so it will be very interesting to see what's in store.