Dave Stewart, Matt Kemp’s agent, said that GM Ned Colletti told him that the Dodgers wouldn’t be trading Kemp this off-season, but that may not be entirely true.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Kemp could still find himself on a different team before the 2014 season:
The Dodgers still could trade Kemp before then — he seems to have ticked off someone in upper management, though few seem to know who or why
It’s unclear what Kemp could’ve done to anger anyone that high in the franchise but that could be why he’s been mentioned in most of the rumors this off-season. Many believed that Andre Ethier would be the outfielder moved this winter, but the move could simply be a message to Kemp that he’s expendable by that high-ranking official.
Kemp is heading into the the third year of his eight-year, $160 million contract extension and has struggled to provide a return on the Dodgers’ investment. He missed significant time the past two seasons, including 89 games last season and the entire postseason. Since his 39 home run, 40 stolen base year in 2011, Kemp has just 29 home runs and 18 stolen bases the past two years.
The 29-year-old outfielder underwent two surgeries this off-season and is working towards being healthy for Spring Training. There were several teams interested in Kemp, including the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds but a trade never materialized, as the Dodgers won’t be giving a discount on a player two years removed from being the MVP runner-up.
The Dodgers likely won’t find a suitable return for Kemp and he’ll be roaming the outfield at Dodger Stadium next season, but should seek out that club official and smooth things out.
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