Los Angeles Dodgers trade rumors are in full swing with July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching. The Dodgers were reportedly interested in pursuing Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, but that was later refuted.
General manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly have both made it known a talks on how to improve are constantly being held; Colletti has identified the bullpen as an area he wishes to address.
Conventional wisdom has the Dodgers including an outfielder in any potential deal they may reach and in light of Matt Kemp’s recent comments, he may be the player most likely to get traded.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, who was a guest on MLB Network’s High Heat on Friday, he believes trading Kemp is necessary in order to avoid turmoil:
“I think the larger concern here Chris, is for the Dodgers to keep that harmony in place when not all their start outfielders are going to be playing every day. When you have a major player on the bench, that really has the potential to disrupt things for the Dodgers.”
Morosi added the Dodgers would likely be willing to assume a portion of Kemp’s salary and in a separate trade, use their Minor League prospects to acquire a pitcher:
So, that’s why I believe the Dodgers would be willing to put in a significant amount of money and eat a substantial portion of that contract for Kemp to move him and then maybe use those prospects in a separate deal for pitching.”
While much of the focus is on Kemp, Morosi summed up his remarks with the notion any Dodger outfielder could be moved before the deadline:
So I do think at some point in time Chris, there is going to be a deal in the next couple of weeks involving a Dodgers outfielder.”
If Kemp were to be traded, Morosi said it could open the door for Joc Pederson’s arrival as some within the organization believe he’s ready to take over center field duties for the Dodgers.
Kemp’s large contract makes trading him a difficult proposition, however he is coming off a successful month of June. As he received regular playing in left field, replacing the injured Carl Crawford, Kemp’s production at the plate increased and he finished the month with a .317 batting average, 16 RBIs and .900 OPS.
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