Dodgers rumors: L.A. scoping out trio of Brewers relievers

Dilip Vishwanat

Los Angeles joins the handful of teams looking into John Axford, Mike Gonzalez, and K-Rod.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the latest club to jump into the sweepstakes for a trio of Milwaukee Brewers relief pitchers, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

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The Dodgers sent a scout out to Milwaukee this week to catch a glimpse of John Axford, Mike Gonzalez, and Francisco Rodriguez, whom the Brewers have made known are available.

Ned Colletti and company have already added two pitchers via trade in the last week, but given that Ricky Nolasco is firmly planted in the rotation and Carlos Marmol might not ever make it up to Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers are still in need of some 'pen help. The club's 4.13 bullpen earned-run average is the third-worst in the National League.

Los Angeles the only team with eyes on the Brewtown bullpen this week. The Red Sox, Orioles, and Tigers -- all of whom are also on the bullpen market -- have scouts in Milwaukee as well, and it's believed that the rest of the NL West could be interested in the trio of relievers as well.

Of the trio, K-Rod is having by far the best season, entering Thursday with a 1.25 earned-run average and 10.4 strikeouts per nine through 21⅔ innings. Gonzalez, 36, is also pitching well -- 3.13 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine in 31⅔ innings -- but his high walk rate (4.8) and proclivity for allowing long balls raises some red flags.

The 30-year-old Axford's numbers have improved greatly since his beginning-of-the-year meltdown, but his 3.86 ERA and 1.4 home runs per nine are a far cry from his stellar 2011 output, when he led the league in saves and finished the year with an ERA under 2.00.

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