With the trade winds dieing down each day, Ned Colletti commented today specifically about trading away Matt Kemp. Here's what he said:
"He's close to being a great player. Whether it happens is up to him. He has a tremendous amount of potential to not only be a big leaguer, but a great big leaguer."
"You can't forget that he's young and he's baseball young. Sometimes expectations exceed reality and experience. You see his potential greatness and you're taken by it. You expect to see it as soon as he steps on the field and it doesn't happen like that. But you don't hit .340 by chance."
It seems like Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are the 2 top players teams would want in any big name trade (Haren, Santana, Bedard). Last season, after injuring his shoulder running into the wall during the home opener and being out 2 months, he collected 292 at-bats and hit .342 with 10 HR and 42 RBI. He hit really well in September during the Dodgers collapse with a .382 AVG and .402 OBP. Guess you can't blame him for the 12-16 record.
Now that Andruw Jones has been brought in and a potential middle of the rotation starter in Kuroda is supposedly next, then it's comforting to see Kemp being publicly taken off the trading block. Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier are the next trade candidates, and quite possibly for some bullpen help. Kemp is just loaded with potential, so he deserves a shot at playing RF everyday. It's his job to lose in my mind. If given the chance, he can have a big year. Time will tell.