LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers were, indeed, involved in talks to try to acquire Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox and David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays, general manager Ned Colletti confirmed after Thursday's deadline passed without the Dodgers making a trade. The Dodgers decided to stand pat and keep their elite prospects.
Colletti said it would have taken more than one of the Dodgers' top three prospects -- Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias -- to land either of those two pitchers.
"Easily," he said.
Lester wound up going to the Oakland Athletics along with outfielder Jonny Gomes for major league slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Price went to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-team trade. The Rays netted two young major leaguers -- pitcher Drew Smyly and infielder Nick Franklin -- and infield prospect Willy Adames.
"If we didn't think that Joc or Corey or Urias had a chance to be impact players here, they'd be out of here," Colletti said. "You can't always stay in the same place where it's a team built on trades and free agency. This franchise's greatest years were really around teams that came through the system."
Though Boston wound up with Cespedes, Colletti said the Red Sox were asking the Dodgers for "upper-level prospects" in exchange for Lester. The closest equivalent the Dodgers have to Cespedes on the 25-man roster is Yasiel Puig, their best player and, now, their center fielder. Out of the question, of course.
"We didn't have a Cespedes to move," Colletti said. "I guess we could have, but we didn't."
Colletti said he is still hopeful he could add a reliever in August. Such a transaction would require that player to clear waivers, but more teams might become sellers as the division and wild-card races become more defined.