Report: Indians, Dodgers discuss blockbuster trade

Local News Rosenthal:

The Dodgers and Indians are talking. The question is about what.

Top club officials from both teams strongly denied a report saying that the teams were in serious discussions about a blockbuster that would send left-hander Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez to Los Angeles for first baseman James Loney, one of the Dodgers’ young rotation members and prospects.

Those names have at least surfaced in internal discussions on both sides, but a deal involving those specific players is not under consideration, the club officials said.

The Dodgers have had steady interest in Lee. They have not discussed Martinez with the Indians, one source said, but some club officials evidently view Martinez as another potential upgrade.

One thing is clear: The Dodgers are exploring ways to improve a team that has built a wide lead in the NL West and the best record in the National League.

Both Lee and Martinez are under control not only for the rest of this season but all of 2010. The Indians have both players under affordable club options for next season.

Lee has been a trade target of not only the Dodgers, but also the Phillies, Rays and other clubs. The Dodgers’ offers for Lee have not been at the level of those of other teams, one source said.

The Dodgers have a number of attractive prospects that the Indians and other clubs are targeting, including Class AA third baseman Josh Bell, Class AA outfielder Andrew Lambo, Class AAA right-hander Josh Lindblom and Class AAA left-hander Scott Elbert.

Lee won the AL Cy Young award last year and has overcome a slow start this season to currently have a 3.17 ERA. He has fired complete games in two of his last three starts and has allowed four runs in his last 25 innings.

Martinez, an AL All-Star this season, has 14 home runs and was hitting .286 entering Sunday’s action.

Loney has seven home runs and is hitting .280, while Billingsley has become one of the NL’s top starters.