Stan Kasten: More offense desired

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place in the National League West entering the second half of the season despite scoring the third-fewest runs (332) in the NL and hitting the fewest home runs (51).

So yes, the lineup could use a jolt, and not just the one that should accompany the return of Matt Kemp (hamstring) and Andre Ethier (oblique) from the disabled list on Friday.

"You have to admit we could use more offense," Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a wide-ranging interview with hosts Mark Willard and Ramona Shelburne on ESPNLA 710 radio on Thursday. "I say that knowing two weeks ago we were in first place by, like, seven games with this same offense. So I know we could do it with what we have now with Mark Ellis back now and Andre and Matt rejoining us.

"Having said that, that doesn't satisfy us. And [general manager Ned Colletti] is out there looking to add a bat. I would say, if we could add offense, that would be our first choice.

"We're always looking for pitching, because you can never have enough pitching. Sure, if we can add a bat, we're going to try to do that. It takes two teams to make a reasonable deal. But we're not going to wait for 25 minor leaguers to grow into their uniforms."

Kasten said the new ownership group is willing to "take on problem contracts, which is useful" but admitted that swinging a deal for an impact bat will be tough without surrendering top prospects, something "we're not especially deep in."

He also noted that two new rule changes -- one restricting compensation for free agents acquired in a midseason trade, the other the addition of another wild-card team in each league, "which means less teams are sellers" -- will complicate the Dodgers' efforts at the trading deadline.

"If you're picking up a player and you let him go at the end of the year, you're not getting the draft-pick compensation that you could've before, and that changes what you're willing to pay for him," Kasten said.

Kasten went on to praise general manager Ned Colletti for assembling a team that has managed to stay in first place despite a lessened payroll and several significant injuries.

Kasten said Colletti is his "permanent GM" because he believes that gives the organization stability. He would not reveal whether Colletti's contract status had changed.

"What I always say about GMs, and everyone who has always worked for me, is that they're here permanently," Kasten said. "I don't want fans and I don't want media counting the clock on when their contract runs out, because it's a distraction to fans, it's a distraction to players. No one knew when [Atlanta Braves GM] John Schuerholtz's contract expired or when it was renewed. No one knew that about [Washington Nationals GM] Mike Rizzo, and no one is going to know that about Ned Colletti.

"My GMs are here permanently. If that ever changes, we'll make an announcement. But you should regard them as permanent, as a source of stability."