The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels had "extensive discussions" about a trade that would have sent Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.
Rosenthal notes that the talks went right down the deadline and that Dodgers' top pitching prospect Zach Lee was among the players involved in discussions.
A few days before the trade deadline, the Angels decided that they would try to sell assets to contenders in an effort to acquire young players who would help in the future.
They were able to deal left-hander Scott Downs to the Braves and infielder Alberto Callaspo to the Athletics, acquiring second baseman Grant Green and right-hander Cory Rasmus in the process. The Halos shopped Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar in advance of the deadline, and Kendrick drew interest from teams like the Royals and Blue Jays in addition to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have been actively looking for second baseman all season despite getting solid performances from Mark Ellis (.278 BA, 6 HR, 40 RBI in 93 games) and Nick Punto (.263 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI in 91 games) this season. Both players are free agents after the season, meaning that the Dodgers are expected to be in the market to sign Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano, who will be this offseason's top free agent. In a report that now seems to align with the Dodgers' deadline pursuit of Kendrick, USA Today's Bob Nightengale says that the team may not be as aggressive as many expect them to be in their pursuits of Cano or other high priced free agents this offseason:
Other free agent options at the position this winter will include Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts, meaning that Cano is the only star option available on the open market. The Dodgers' apparent disenchantment with signing the Yankees' star may mean that they will re-visit the idea of acquiring Kendrick after the season. The Angels are expected to try to deal Kendrick, who is under contract for $18.85 million over the next two seasons.