Heading into the Winter Meetings, there was the expectation that the Los Angeles Dodgers could trade one of their outfielders. If unconfirmed reports are to be trusted, signs pointed to Matt Kemp being the player the Dodgers would likely trade due to the level of interest in him.
While Kemp trade talks have tied the Dodgers to the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles among others, the San Diego Padres have been identified as the strongest suitor with a deal appearing imminent.
However, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday night the idea of a trade being close to completed simply isn’t the case, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
Zaidi: "wishful thinking" on media part that Kemp to Padres is close. "I would not characterize it that way."
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 10, 2014
In needing to address the shortstop position, Shaikin also reported earlier on Tuesday the Dodgers once discussed sending Kemp to the Chicago White Sox for Alexei Ramirez. Aside from the Padres emerging as a team likely to land Kemp, the White Sox may no longer be inclined to deal Ramirez given their activity at the Winter Meetings that’s left them in position to be a contender in 2015.
It’s been reported by trading Kemp to the Padres, the Dodgers would receive Yasmani Grandal as part of the return. That could be an attractive piece for the Dodgers given their desire to upgrade at catcher; they previously attempted to trade for Miguel Montero.
Although Kemp performed well in the second half last season, questions still remain if he’ll be able to stay healthy. Adding more complication to any trade talks is the five years and $107 million remaining on his contract — a steep price for a 30 year old with less than favorable injury history.
The Dodgers are believed to be willing to pay a portion of the remaining salary, with the amount dependent on the players they receive.