Matt Kemp Rumors
Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips have been two of the offseason's biggest names rumored to be on the trade market, and there was a chance the two could've been dealt for each other in a blockbuster. The Dodgers and Reds "briefly spoke about" swapping the two All-Stars earlier this winter, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but the Dodgers didn't have much interest. L.A. wasn't keen on adding an older player (Phillips is 32) who is owed $50MM through 2017, plus the Dodgers felt the deal wouldn't have been a fair swap if Kemp returned to full health.
Here are some more items from Chavez Ravine...
- There isn't any truth to rumors of a Dodgers/Royals trade that would sent Dee Gordon to Kansas City in exchange for Justin Maxwell, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon reports (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers fully intend to rebuild their minor league depth, team president Stan Kasten said tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, and while they've moved some minor leaguers in trades, Kasten is pleased that "we kept adding pieces while keeping the guys we valued the most." Speaking in general, Kasten said "what would have interested us — and might still — is to trade one of our veterans if we can get back young, controllable players and prospects." In addition, while Kasten says the Dodgers don't plan to trade any of their key youngsters, "there are deals on the table that include top prospects."
- The Dodgers could consider trading pitching prospects in order to obtain more position player prospects, Kasten said, as the club is lacking in youngsters who can play the field.
- Earlier today on MLBTR, the Dodgers acquired righty Seth Rosin from the Mets, and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal shared a few items about the Dodgers in his most recent column.
Ken Rosenthal shares a few anecdotes from the Winter Meetings as well as some hot stove notes and opinions in his latest entry for FOX Sports...
- It seems as if the Yankees will keep Brett Gardner since the team likes the idea of he and Jacoby Ellsbury combined in left and center field and hitting 1-2 atop the lineup. That said, Rosenthal thinks that while the Yankees like Gardner, they won't re-sign him next offseason, as Gardner will look for a new team that can offer him a center field position and a leadoff spot.
- Matt Kemp "seems to have ticked off someone in [Dodgers] upper management, though few seem to know who or why," Rosenthal writes. This could be part of the reason behind the Kemp trade rumors, though Rosenthal feels the Dodgers will have to eventually deal Kemp if they're serious about restocking their farm system. That deal might not happen until after 2014, however, as the Dodgers would be selling low on Kemp now and a rebound would both up his trade value and help the club on the field given Carl Crawford's health problems and Joc Pederson's inexperience.
- The Dodgers are "disinclined" to sign Stephen Drew. This could be another case of the Dodgers focusing on their minor league development, as signing Drew would block prospect Corey Seager, not to mention cost the Dodgers their first round pick in next year's amateur draft.
- The Mariners are more likely to look internally to find closing help, rather than acquire a stopper as originally planned.
- Rosenthal thinks the Mariners need to add another starting pitcher and another big bat, with Nelson Cruz seeming like a "must-have" given the uncertainty about Corey Hart's health. The additions of Hart and Logan Morrison are seen by rival executives "as somewhat incoherent" given that both players share injury histories and are the same type of 1B/DH types, though the M's plan to try Hart in the outfield.
- The Mets have received criticism from their fans for their low payrolls in recent years, but Rosenthal notes that the team's free agent expenditures are a sign that the Amazins are willing to spend.
News from the AL and NL West..
- Agent Scott Boras says he'll talk to the Angels about signing Kendrys Morales, writes the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin. The Angels say they are not interested, however, because they need to rebuild a depleted minor league system and they would have to forfeit their first-round draft choice to sign Morales. "We're much more comfortable with the idea of maintaining our first-round pick and continuing to build the organization in a much more positive way," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said.
- In an interview on MLB Network (Twitter link), Dodgers GM Ned Colletti attemped to throw water on Matt Kemp trade rumors, saying that L.A. is higher on the outfielder than anyone.
- Pablo Sandoval's brother, Michael, has recently been certified as an agent and will join his current agent, Gustavo Vazquez, in representing him, writes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. If the Giants want to discuss an extension, Michael says that his team will listen. Yesterday, GM Brian Sabean indicated that they'd be open to a new deal if he comes to spring training in shape.
- The Giants say they haven't talked to Jeff Baker's agent in a little over a week, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
- Giants vice president Bobby Evans tells Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter) that the club would like to sign a left fielder tonight. Baggarly hears that they like Franklin Gutierrez.
- Rockies manager Walt Weiss says that they have talked to Carlos Gonzalez about possibly playing center field and they think he might be able to manage it, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Sulia).
The latest out of the AL and NL Central..
- The Cubs are among the teams with interest in Roberto Hernandez, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says that he'll look for a true first baseman to replace Corey Hart, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter). "I'd like to find a first baseman who can play first. We've had so many guys who haven't played first," said the GM.
The Brewers topped out around $8MM for Hart, according to Haudricourt (on Twitter).
Cubs president Theo Epstein says the club has offers out to a free agent starter, a free agent offer, and a trade offer for a hitter, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Theo added that he has other trade talks taking place as well.
- Dombrowski also noted that the Tigers haven't ruled out signing Max Scherzer this offseason, tweets John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
- After initially being caught off guard by the trade, Adam Eaton says he's confident and ready for a fresh start with the White Sox, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
Yesterday's round of Matt Kemp rumors included word that the Dodgers are open to eating a substantial portion of his salary in order to ensure they receive a significant return in any trade. The Red Sox no longer appear to be in the mix, and the Tigers may be a long shot after their signing of Rajai Davis, but the Mariners are among the clubs still in play. We'll keep track of Wednesday's updates on Kemp right here:
- ESPN's Jayson Stark spoke with Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, who was told by the Dodgers today that the team has no plans to trade Kemp (Twitter link).
- The Dodgers are getting "plenty of action" on Kemp in Orlando this week, but say they're unlikely to finalize a trade at the Winter Meetings, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- A source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that there were simply too many "complications" for the Red Sox to make a deal work (Twitter link). Kemp's recovery from ankle surgery was the most notable of those complications.
- In a column for FOX Sports, Jon Morosi goes into more detail on his and Ken Rosenthal's Tuesday reports on Kemp, writing that despite the outfielder's injury issues and unwieldy contract, there's still a decent chance he's moved by Opening Day.
Here are the latest trade rumors surrounding Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp, who hit .270/.328/.395 in an injury-plagued season in 2013, has six years and $128MM remaining on the eight-year deal he signed at the end of 2011.
- The Red Sox have decided not to trade for Matt Kemp, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets.
- The Tigers and Mariners (along with the Red Sox) have recently talked with the Dodgers about Kemp, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweet.
- Rosenthal tweets that, if the Dodgers deal Kemp, they want to make sure they get good players back, and they're willing to eat salary in order to do so.
- For the Tigers, trading for Kemp will be tricky because of their recent agreement to sign Rajai Davis, Morosi tweets. Acquiring Kemp might mean they'd have to trade Austin Jackson to make room for him.
As we gear up for Day Two of the Winter Meetings, let's take a look at the latest from around baseball..
- There are mixed opinions in the Mariners' front office when it comes to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Mariners have been heavily linked to the 29-year-old who boasts great talent but also comes with injury concerns.
- Braves GM Frank Wren doesn't expect to make a blockbuster trade or a massive signing, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But in the case of our club, I don’t see necessarily a frontline move," Wren said. "I see more support moves, where you’re adding a bat that can give you power off the bench, or adding to our bullpen, or adding to the depth of our rotation. I see more of those kind of moves than a big frontline move.”
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter) hasn't heard much regarding a rumor that the White Sox are in the process of trying to bring third baseman Juan Uribe back to Chicago.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of the team going into luxury tax territory, suggesting that to even consider that option, the club would need to have a "really compelling reason." Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com has the details.
- A lot of teams have asked the Nationals about set-up men Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com. As of right now, however, talks have not heated up. Yesterday we heard that the Cubs have interest in the duo.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that his club has the prospects to get any player that is available (Twitter link).
- Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the Giants aren't a fit as trade partners for teams looking to deal an outfielder in exchange for Major League ready talent.
Luke Adams and Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Matt Kemp may eventually get dealt this offseason, but it doesn't look like the Dodgers and Red Sox will reach an agreement involving the outfielder. We heard earlier this afternoon that Boston's talks for Kemp were unlikely to get serious, and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com backs that up, writing that there's "nothing to" the rumors of Boston's interest. Here's more on the Dodgers:
- While Kemp probably won't be headed to the Red Sox, the Dodgers remain in discussions with four teams on trade possibilities involving him or Andre Ethier, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- The Dodgers will be interested in Masahiro Tanaka if and when he's posted, but that interest may be more lukewarm than exepected, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin hears from two sources familiar with the team's thinking that L.A. won't pursue Tanaka with the sort of "win-at-all-costs mentality" that marked the club's pursuit of Hyun-jin Ryu a year ago.
- Having not heard back yet from free agent infielder Juan Uribe, the Dodgers are preparing to move on from him, reports Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. GM Ned Coletti indicated that the team could shift its focus to acquiring a third baseman via trade.
- Jamey Wright is on the Dodgers' radar as a potential long man, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
We rounded up several Orioles rumors from Orlando right here, but the O's aren't the only AL East team making news. Let's check in on a few more items related to Baltimore's division rivals....
- Rays GM Andrew Friedman says he made some progress in talks today, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Topkin suggests the Rays have been meeting more with other teams than with agents.
- Friedman added that nothing is imminent for the Rays when it comes to the club's pursuit of a first baseman, tweets Topkin.
- A Red Sox source tells Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link) that the team's discussions for Matt Kemp haven't reached the serious stage, and are unlikely to do so.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter links), that the Sox need "two guys to play shortstop" and that a handful of teams have inquired on Boston's starting pitching surplus. The club doesn't appear inclined to move a starter at this point though.
- The Red Sox are among one of three or four teams with some interest in Carlos Marmol, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, who cites the Brewers as another possible suitor (Twitter link).
- Mike Napoli's new two-year contract with the Red Sox includes a limited no-trade clause, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
- The Blue Jays are nearing an agreement to sell Thad Weber's rights to the NC Dinos in South Korea, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link). Once the deal is finalized, it will reduce the Jays' 40-man roster count to 39 players.
Matt Kemp's agent, former MLB pitcher Dave Stewart, told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that he expects his client to be traded this offseason. Said Stewart: "I haven't heard a player's name floated around like that and something not happen." Stewart may be thinking back to last offseason's Justin Upton saga with that comment, but it's worth noting that several big-name trade candidates have been rumored to be on the block only to stay put, with Chase Headley coming to mind off the bat for me. Here's more out of the NL West...
- The Diamondbacks are one of the teams with the most aggressive interest in White Sox ace Chris Sale, but there's no guarantee that the Sox have made him available, per ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Earlier today it was reported that the Sox are looking to move a starting pitcher, but Sale would require an even bigger package than David Price will command.
- "I think we are still in the market for a starting pitcher, another bat, and as I've said before, our bullpen is not closed," Rockies director of Major League operations told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Owner Dick Monfort recently said he could see the payroll stretching to $95MM, Saunders notes.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the Rockies were "deep" in talks with the A's for Brett Anderson last week but talks slowed due to concerns over Anderson's medical reports. Harding notes that the two sides could resume talks this week.
- The Padres and Diamondbacks could be two teams to show interest in recently DFA'ed Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks, writes Mike Beradino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. D-Backs GM Kevin Towers was the Padres' GM when San Diego finished runner-up to the Twins in bidding for the Australian right-hander as a free agent. Likewise, Padres director of international scouting Randy Smith was in the same role with San Diego when the Twins signed Hendriks in 2007.