Matt Kemp’s season has taken yet another turn in recent days with the outfielder having played the last two games in right field.
Right field was the position Kemp primarily played before being shifted over to center, where he remained until this season. Kemp has expressed his desire to return to center field, though manager Don Mattingly has indicated that won’t occur.
With the Dodgers reportedly in search of pitching help, Kemp’s name has been included in the majority of trade rumors. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Boston Red Sox are among the teams who have inquired on Kemp:
Some rival executives say the Dodgers want to move Kemp. The team certainly is open to trade offers. But at least one club that asked about Kemp – the Red Sox – did not get the sense that the Dodgers were eager to make a deal, according to major-league sources.
Rosenthal further reports the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners placed calls:
The level of interest from each team varied – the Indians did not engage in substantive conversations with the Dodgers, and the Rangers’ interest was believed to be only cursory. The Mariners, meanwhile, consider themselves a “longshot” to land Kemp, according to a source.
After a slow start to the season, Kemp improved at the plate during June, which also coincided with regular playing time. He hit .317 with 16 RBIs and had a .900 OPS. Kemp has struggled a bit through 17 games in July but may have another new home in the outfield should the Dodgers hold onto to him.
Mattingly is now considering moving Yasiel Puig to center field, which will result in Kemp making a new home in right field.
Trading Kemp will prove no easy task as he’s owed $107 million over the next five seasons and the would likely require the Dodgers to pay a significant portion of his contract as part of any deal.
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