The Dodgers have begun to shop options for pitching help.

Earlier this month it was reported the Dodgers had inquired about veteran aces Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee. Reports said both teams answered “not right now” but the underlying theme was a denial back from the Dodgers to include first baseman James Loney.

Loney is currently hitting just under .300 for the Boys in Blue. He is a solid fielder with Gold Glove potential, but the Dodgers are looking for him to power-up, providing a more potent bat in the middle of the line-up.

The left-handed first baseman has a career .285 batting average but has just 50 home runs in 535 games.

His performance at the plate is the main focus for improvement in the Dodgers’ eyes. However, for that same reason, he is attractive to other teams for his run production while providing sharp fielding abilities.

Loney will be a free agent at the end of 2010, and his contract will likely require a higher salary if he continues to perform at a higher level. 

Teams looking to re-tool their offense will soon be enquiring further about Loney, but what will it cost L.A. to move him? 

The Dodgers don’t have another option at first base. In Spring Training, the team attempted to groom Ronnie Belliard for the position, but it has been clear ever since that he is much more comfortable at second or third. 

Is it worth it for a solid ace to anchor a weakened starting rotation? Ned Colletti is known for pulling the strings just before the deadline, and July is sure to be an exciting month in Tinsel Town.


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