SAN FRANCISCO — Center fielder Dave Roberts is atop the list of Dodgers clubs are pursuing in early trade talks with General Manager Dan Evans, two National League general managers said Tuesday.
Beginning play Tuesday, Roberts was second in the National League with 24 stolen bases. He has a salary of $400,000 this season and is eligible for arbitration for the first time next season.
Many clubs apparently consider Roberts to be a good long-term fit, but the Dodgers do too.
"We're at the time of year when a lot of names are being mentioned," said Evans, who does not discuss trade proposals. "But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm mentioning them, or considering offers."
Although Evans hopes to acquire a middle-of-the-order hitter, with Florida Marlin third baseman Mike Lowell still the preferred candidate, a Dodger official said it is doubtful Roberts would be on the table in any deal -- unless Texas Ranger shortstop Alex Rodriguez could be acquired.
As for Dodger prospects, pitcher Edwin Jackson has been mentioned often. The organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2002, Jackson is 3-5 with a 2.95 earned-run average in 15 starts for double-A Jacksonville.
Jackson alone would not be enough to complete a deal for an impact hitter, one of the NL general managers said, but he would sweeten the pot.
"Obviously, there are people in our organization that have value to other teams, but they have value to us too," Evans said.
To their disappointment, the Dodgers have been present for two of the biggest moments of Barry Bonds' career.
Former Dodger pitcher Terry Adams gave up Bonds' 500th home run in 2001, and the future Hall of Famer recorded his 500th stolen base Monday in the Giants' 3-2, 11-inning victory at Pacific Bell Park.
Bonds led off with a walk against closer Eric Gagne and scored the winning run on Benito Santiago's one-out single, completing an awful ending for the Dodgers.
"We're going to start keeping a very close eye on where his numbers are," Manager Jim Tracy said, jokingly.
"He always seems to have something and 99."
Right-hander Andy Ashby, who has earned the fifth spot in the rotation for now, might start again before July 5, Tracy said.
With the Dodgers off Thursday, the plan was to skip Ashby.
However, Ashby pitched well (5 1/3 innings, four hits, one run) in an interleague victory over the Angels.
"It's not etched in stone," Tracy said, "but it's being discussed."
For the record, Tracy did not put on the bunt sign in the top of the 11th Monday with Jason Romano on first after a leadoff single and Adrian Beltre batting.
Beltre, batting seventh, bunted on his own, fouling out to first on a feeble attempt. Tracy and Beltre discussed the situation in a closed-door meeting Tuesday.
"If I want you to bunt, then I'll give you the bunt sign," Tracy said he told Beltre. "And if you don't see the bunt sign, my suggestion to you as a manager is to take that ball and hit it as far and as hard as you can hit it."
The Giants plan to bill Gagne $500 for a phone he allegedly tore off the dugout wall after giving up Santiago's game-winning hit.