Multiple reports surfaced on Tuesday that suggest the Los Angeles Dodgers are moving towards trading All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp. Specifically the Dodgers have had talks with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox in the past week.
The Dodgers reportedly want to acquire value in return for Kemp, who still has six years and $128 million left on his contract. That might be difficult, unless Los Angeles is willing to pick up a significant chunk of Kemp’s deal.
On Tuesday, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the Red Sox have decided that Kemp isn’t a fit right now, and the Tigers have decided they are unlikely to land him as well. That leaves the Mariners and possibly the Texas Rangers as the main suitors for the 29-year-old’s services.
The Dodgers currently have Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Kemp in the outfield. That means every game they will have to sit one of their best players. That makes no sense and someone has to go.
Kemp has had surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in each of the last two years, and also underwent surgery on his left ankle in October. It isn’t a guarantee that he’ll be ready in time for spring training.
Still, there is no denying Kemp’s talent. In 2011 he hit .324 with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs. He posted an OPS of .985, stole 40 bases and finished the season with a WAR of 7.8. He has also won two Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves.
That said, he hasn’t lived up to expectations since inking his big deal following the 2011 season.
Parting ways with the Dodgers makes sense for both Kemp and the team. It’s just not certain if anyone will take his contract and still be willing to surrender much in return for him.