For the third straight year, the Los Angeles Dodgers could make a transaction that involves some of the best players in baseball. Recent rumors indicate the Dodgers are open to trading one of their top offensive stars.
According to multiple reports, several teams have been in talks with the Dodgers about making a trade for Matt Kemp. Sources tell Jon Morosi of Fox Sports that the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are among that teams that are interested in acquiring the outfielder.
Heading into the 2013 MLB season, the Dodgers trailed only the New York Yankees with a payroll close to $220 million. The team took on big salaries in their quest to become a contender in the National League. Now that the club has reached that level, ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Dodgers are willing to part with a player such as Kemp, or even Andre Ethier.
Despite how they performed last season, Kemp might be more likely to be dealt. His currently deal is guaranteed for two years longer than Ethier’s and Kemp makes $4 million more per season. However, his age and recent seasons make him a much more attractive trade option for other teams. Kemp barely missed out on winning the MVP in 2011, finishing with a .324 average, 39 home runs, 126 RBI and 40 stolen bases. He’s battled injuries in the past few years, but still maintained a .905 OPS in 2012. Ethier is two years older and hasn’t driven in 100 runs since 2009.
Dave Cameron of ESPN has suggested that the Dodgers and Yankees could work out a possible deal. Between Kemp, Ethier, Carl Crawford and star rookie Yasiel Puig, Don Mattingly has a surplus of outfielders. The abundance of players at one position could motivate the team to deal Kemp to New York, considering the Boston Globe has reported that the Yankees are interested in the outfielder. In exchange, the Yankees could send C.C. Sabathia to the West Coast.
The potential could be helpful to both sides. The Yankees need help in the outfield, where they’re committed to several overpaid veterans like Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki in 2014. Curtis Granderson is a free agent and there is no telling if he will come back. Unloading Sabathia would allow the Yankees to pay for Kemp and still attempt to keep their payroll under their goal of $189 million.
Both players come with their share of concerns. Sabathia was a Cy Young candidate for his first four years in the Bronx, but had the worst season of his career in 2013 with a 4.78 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Two years ago, Kemp may have been the best all-around player in baseball, but after totaling just 29 homers and 102 RBI in the last two years, his contract may turn out to be one of the worst in the league.
While the Dodgers appear to be open to the idea about moving Kemp, there isn’t any legitimate indication that the Yankees are trying to trade Sabathia. He’s guaranteed to make $71 million over the next three years.
New York signed catcher Brian McCann on Thursday, according to sources. The deal is worth $85 million over five years, and includes a vesting option for $15 million for a sixth season, as well as a no-trade clause. The former Braves star hit 20 homers but batted just .256 in 2013.