Just three years removed from an MVP-caliber season, Matt Kemp found himself on the bench and no longer playing center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Kemp missed just the first five games of the 2014 season, his timing and explosiveness was noticeably lacking.
Kemp eventually accepted a move to right field and his play down the stretch has led to his name being mentioned in trade talks. Among the teams interested is the Seattle Mariners, though they also have other power right-handed bats on their radar.
While there’s interest, one issue that may prevent the Mariners from trading for Kemp is clubhouse concerns, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman:
However, the Mariners may have some clubhouse concerns regarding Kemp, who has clear positional preferences and seems to be a bit of a polarizing figure.
The San Diego Padres have also been mentioned as inquiring on Kemp, which FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal again confirmed on Wednesday:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 26, 2014
Understandably, Kemp wasn’t pleased with the benching and his frustrations were exacerbated when the Dodgers attempted to play him in left field. Dave Stewart, his former agent, was open with his desire that Kemp be traded and went so far as to say it was what the outfielder wanted.
Kemp later clarified Stewart’s remarks and reiterated he wanted to remain with the Dodgers while also playing every day. With Hanley Ramirez joining the Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers would run the risk of being short on right-handed bats in the lineup.
Although Kemp was the most productive of the Dodger outfielders on the market, he would net them the biggest return, which can explain the Dodgers’ considering moving him.