ATLANTA -- Without tipping his hand about which starting pitchers the Los Angeles Dodgers are pursuing, general manager Farhan Zaidi painted a surprisingly clear picture of where things stand as the trade deadline inches closer and the team's need gets more urgent.
Brett Anderson took himself out of the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday after injuring his left Achilles tendon while awkwardly chasing down a ground ball. Nobody knows the severity of the injury at this point. But given Anderson's extensive history on the DL and the fact he was in a walking boot postgame and scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday, a stint on the disabled list seems like a pretty good bet, if not a foregone conclusion.
So, the Dodgers are left with 40 percent of their original starting rotation intact. And, while it's an awfully good 40 percent -- Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke -- Anderson's injury changes the tone of the Dodgers' pursuit of starting pitching with the deadline less than 10 days away.
It went from a dull wail to a piercing siren.
Zaidi said he can't send text messages any more frantically or speed-dial other GMs more frequently just because another Dodgers starter went down.
"I don't know that we could ratchet up our search for starting pitching any more than we already are," Zaidi said.
As of now, the flood of available starting pitchers everyone keeps predicting is theoretical rather than tangible, as none of them actually has switched teams. Zaidi said multiple teams are listening to offers, but the Dodgers would like to add a starter by this weekend rather than wait until late next week, and they're hoping teams don't take it down to the deadline.
Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir are almost certainly available at the right price; and David Price, Yovani Gallardo, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner might be. But, of course, it's all about the price.
The Dodgers don't want to part with their top two prospects, shortstop Corey Seager and pitcher Julio Urias, and Zaidi hinted that those are the names that continually arise. He made it sound as if the first team that moves away from those names could find itself with a haul of Dodgers prospects.
The Dodgers have other emerging young players, such as Scott Schebler, Jose De Leon and Grant Holmes, that could entice a team to deal. Infielder Alex Guerrero is practically begging to be traded these days and has indicated to people he would be willing to waive his opt-out clause in the right deal. He's barely playing for the Dodgers and might appeal to teams looking for reasonably affordable and major league ready right-handed power.
But it certainly sounds as if Urias and Seager remain borderline untouchable.
"As you can imagine, a lot of the conversations we're having, teams are asking for the same guys," Zaidi said. "It might just be a question of who's willing to pull the trigger with us first and come to a deal we can agree on. Obviously, time is a little bit of a premium for us."
For weeks, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been saying he feels good about his starting pitching, and he's mindful of not asking for help from Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, because he doesn't want it to appear he doesn't have confidence in pitchers like Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias and Brandon Beachy.
After Anderson's injury, even Mattingly's tone changed. Asked for a word to describe the rotation, he settled on, "Disarray."
"I'm pretty concerned with the state of the rotation at this point," Mattingly said. "We've had injuries, and we're getting deeper and deeper into it. As consistent as Brett has been, we're kind of counting on him to be that guy throwing six or seven innings, keeping us in the game."
Anderson had essentially replaced Hyun-Jin Ryu as the dependable third leg of a rotation that is now teetering on two. He wasn't willing to admit Tuesday's injury was an automatic DL stint, but he also said he had never before asked to be taken out of a game -- and he had spent the majority of his major league career on the disabled list coming into this season. Last season, he had back surgery and a broken hand. In a previous year, he blew out an elbow ligament and had to have it replaced. This was his first brush with an Achilles injury.
"It's one of those spots I haven't hurt before, so it's kind of tough to tell," Anderson said. "Hopefully, it's one-outing karma for tweeting that I was healthy before the All-Star break."
If you take a look at Anderson's transactions page, you get a sense his karma rarely is limited to missing one outing. The Dodgers certainly don't figure to wait and find out whether he can make a miraculous recovery. They could have him on the DL before Wednesday's game starts, have a reliever en route from Triple-A as we speak and be frantically texting, calling and emailing other GMs all the while.
That's one thing the Dodgers have going for them: It's not hard to multitask nowadays.