While the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield picture has changed this season in the sense that players have switched positions, the fact remains there are five players vying for just three spots.
However, that may soon change. On the heels of a report the Dodgers have taken trade calls on Matt Kemp, they are also placing calls, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The Dodgers are making calls, and rival executives have the feeling the Dodgers are ready to move on, if possible.
Kemp’s agent Dave Stewart previously stated his client was open to being traded and added a change may be in order:
Eight years is a long time to be in one place,” Kemp’s agent Dave Stewart, the former star pitcher, said by phone. “Sometimes change is good. This might be the time to change.”
The Dodgers resisted overtures to trade Kemp during the off-season, which may have been due him coming off season-ending injury and being perceived as damaged goods.
Kemp got off to a slow start this season before picking it up in June when he was moved to left field and received regular playing time following Carl Crawford’s injury and subsequent stint on the disabled list.
While Kemp was not particularly pleased with a move to left field, manager Don Mattingly didn’t sway from his decision and said Kemp was unlikely to return to center field.
Mattingly may have indirectly driven a bigger wedge between himself and Kemp when he labled Joc Pederson, currently in Triple-A, as the best center fielder in the organization.
Failing to see eye-to-eye on a position for Kemp has reportedly led to a rift between the manager and outfielder. With Yasiel Puig on the mend from a sore left hand, Kemp changed positions once again — this time to right field.
In previous years, the Dodgers made it known they weren’t interested in trading Kemp — their 2011 National League MVP runner up. The climate appears to have since shifted and though they would likely need to pay a portion of Kemp’s remaining salary, a trade now seems inevitable.
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