As the 2014 season inches closer, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still involved in a few rumors before the season starts. The team has recently been interested in Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka and are reportedly looking for a middle infielder as well. They also have another decision to make with their crowded outfield situation with four outfielders worthy of a starting position and only three spots available.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Dodgers may still part with one of the outfielders in the near future:
The Dodgers may still deal one of them before the start of the season. As teams see where Kemp’s rehab is after shoulder and ankle surgeries, that could heat up in spring training. Ethier could also be in demand, but the Dodgers want to see what they have in Kemp before trading away their excess. Still, the Dodgers will be an intriguing trade partner for some team before all is said and done.
Rumors and speculation have been rampant this off-season and many believe it comes down to Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp being moved in a deal. Carl Crawford has a large contract that the Dodgers would have to eat in a trade and Yasiel Puig is a dynamic player that the Dodgers don’t want to part ways with, leaving Kemp and Ethier. Both players signed contract extensions with the Dodgers, but are manageable enough to work out a deal.
Kemp is coming off back-to-back seasons full of injuries after his 2011 MVP runner-up season in which he hit 39 home runs and stole 40 bases. Ethier seems to have lost the 30-home run stroke from his earlier years but recovered last season to hit .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, while learning a new position in center field.
Whether the Dodgers keep the four outfielders or deal one of them, a decision will have to be made soon.
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