Rumors surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp were rampant at the Winter Meetings before GM Ned Colletti reassured his agent Dave Stewart that his client won’t be dealt this off-season.
Kemp is coming off major ankle surgery and another cleanup of his surgically repaired left shoulder, but was garnering serious interest from the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. However, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds discussed concepts of a Kemp deal:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 12, 2013
The Reds reportedly took Phillips off the market, but it was reported that they also discussed a deal with the New York Yankees involving Brett Gardner. Meanwhile, the Dodgers infield is in flux with Juan Uribe still a free agent and there have been discussions about Guerrero possibly playing shortstop or second base, with Hanley Ramirez possibly shifting over to third base.
While Kemp is battling injuries, the 32-year-old Phillips is battling a declining bat. Even though he had 103 RBI last season, Phillips has seen his OBP and OPS decline in each of the last three seasons along with his batting average. There’s no denying that he’s still an elite defender, but the remaining four years and $50 million left on his contract isn’t appealing.
Regardless, it still looks like Kemp will be a Dodger come Opening Day, but they could still be in the market in trading one of their high-priced outfielders with rumors circulating they might be acquiring Jason Maxwell from the Kansas City Royals. If that’s the case, look for Andre Ethier and possibly Carl Crawford to see their names come up in several trade rumors.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Brian Wilson agreed to a one-year deal last week