2013 was a lost season for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. He played just 73 games, dealing with a multitude of injuries, causing many fantasy owners to call him injury prone. Maybe he is, but he wasn't completely healthy to start the 2013 season either, as he was still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. For me, his shoulder was not 100%, and it showed in his power numbers. Then the hamstring injuries, which could have been due to the poor decisions made y the Dodgers medical staff. The Dodgers head trainer was fired a few days after the season was over, so that tells me they weren't happy with her decisions. Then the terrible ankle injury.
To top things off, Kemp had more surgery to clean up his shoulder this offseason, and then a few weeks later, had surgery on his "career threatening" ankle. He is still on crutches, and probably won't run until spring training, meaning he could start the season on the DL.
Everyone knows the Dodgers have too many outfielders, with Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Kemp battling for three outfield spots, and that the Dodgers are listening to trade offers for all of their outfielders. I doubt they trade Puig, but the other three are very available. The issue is that all three have big contracts that make a trade a little more difficult to execute since they will have to eat some salary to get anything good in return.
The Dodgers have built their major league team through trades, taking on bad contracts and free agency. Now, they are focusing on building their farm system, and have rebuilt their US and Internationals scouting teams, bringing in some of the best in the business to find the talent to build their farm system.
So, that is why we keep hearing Matt Kemp's name involved in trade rumors over the last few days/weeks. It started with the Rangers talking with the Dodgers at the GM Meetings. Yesterday, we heard from Fox Sports' Jon Morosi, not once, but twice, that the Mariners were being aggressive in talks for Kemp.
And now, the latest rumor out there is that the Red Sox have interest, according to Nick Cafardo:
Matt Kemp is in play for the Red Sox and the Dodgers would eat some money in the right deal. Just a question of whether the Red Sox want to— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) December 5, 2013
A healthy Matt Kemp makes any team better. He is two years removed from an MVP season, and is only 29 years old. Should the Dodgers eat some salary, what could the Dodgers conceivably ask for from the Red Sox?
From the sounds of it, maybe the two teams have already discussed players involved. With the Winter Meetings starting next Monday...well, really Sunday.....because that is when most of the GMs will arrive in Orlando, Fla......we could hear more about what players are being discussed.
From the Dodgers point of view, I imagine they are asking for third baseman Will Middlebrooks or possibly third base prospect Garin Cecchini. Then again, the Dodgers already have Corey Seager, who is destined to move to third base, even though he is currently playing shortstop in the minors, so Cecchini may not be involved. Maybe it's a Mookie Betts or a Henry Owens. It all depends on how much the Red Sox want Kemp and how much salary the Dodgers are willing to eat.
Personally, I prefer the Dodgers trade Ethier, as I am a huge fan of Kemp, when he is healthy. I am fascinated by what they could get back in a deal for Kemp though.
Can the Dodgers get a top prospect or two back if they eat a good portion of his salary? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll.