Interesting story from baseball insider Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com this week, as he's hearing from sources within the industry that Matt Kemp is drawing strong trade interest from other teams. So while the Dodgers would prefer to move guys like Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, Kemp could be the more realistic deal.
The bottom line? Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers are serious about moving an outfielder, and making Don Mattingly's life a lot easier in 2015. Good for them.
There are seven reasons listed by Heyman as to why Kemp could be moved. To view them, click on the link above.
Here's a few highlights from his article. If the Dodgers are serious about dumping cash, then Heyman thinks teams would be willing to take on the entire $107 million left on Kemp's remaining five years. The reason? Kemp finished with 25 homers and 89 RBIs, and that was mostly from just one good half of the season after the All-Star break. With power at such a premium, especially from the right side, Kemp could be coveted that much more.
Joc Pederson's presence in center could muddle things up a bit as well. There's no doubt he's the guy to roam center for years to come. That would bump Yasiel Puig back to right, which is his best position. And Kemp? Back to left, where he was clearly unhappy after being yanked from center early last season. Kemp seemed to embrace going to right, but for whatever reason, wants nothing to do with left.
The final highlight is about "chemistry issues" in the clubhouse, and how Kemp might not exactly be helping things. Who knows how true that is, as only the guys who are actually in the clubhouse day in and day out truly know what's going on. But there's no secret that when things aren't going well, Kemp might not be the happiest guy to be around.
I'm sure the Dodgers would love to enter 2015 with a starting outfield of Kemp, Puig, and Pederson. The reality is that if they want to lower their payroll and straighten out the crowded outfield, then Kemp could be the guy to go. I've already accepted that, and at this point, I'm waiting for it to happen.
And if it does, whom will the Dodgers bring in? More bullpen help? A replacement for Hanley Ramirez at short? Help for the end of the rotation? Stay tuned and we will see.