So the Mariners maybe want Matt Kemp, if rumors are to be believed. Or the Red Sox. Or the Rangers. Or maybe none of this is news at all because we heard about this nearly a month ago, if not longer, and will continue to do so until someone is moved. But until then, every time a local columnist tweets something completely unsourced about a potential move, it will send Dodger fans into a fury, torn between “cool, I wonder what we can get?” and “noooo, not my Kemp!”
For the record, I don’t want to trade Kemp, because when he’s healthy, he’s arguably a top five player in the game. Those aren’t all that easy to find, obviously. But you always listen, no matter who it’s about, because you never know when it’s Detroit calling to ask if you’d like Doug Fister in exchange for three misshapen pennies. If a team comes up with the right deal for Kemp, then you trade him. Simple as that, as long as the value is right. I happen to believe that such a trade is difficult if not impossible to find, unless the Mariners whiff on Robinson Cano and David Price and decide that they absolutely positively have to do something, even when something is the kind of thing that makes Seattle fans lose sleep at night.
So maybe Kemp does get moved, and maybe the Dodgers don’t want to pay Clayton Kershaw until they know what they’ll be spending on the outfield, and maybe we’re all speculating with only the tiniest clue of what’s really going on internally. I still happen to believe that Andre Ethier is the more likely outfielder to get moved, if only because his lower cost makes it easier for the Dodgers to eat enough to get other teams in the game, and it’s not all that hard to see fits with the Mets, Pirates, Royals, Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers, etc.
But let’s do the blogging blog bloggy thing and spitball something that will never actually happen and isn’t real, but is fun to consider anyway: the Padres.
Hear me out on this one. No, the Padres don’t need more outfielders, not after adding Seth Smith to Will Venable and Chris Denorfia and Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin and Reymond Fuentes, and they especially don’t want guys as expensive as this. But what they do have is the thing that no one else on this list does, and that’s a third baseman who would be a great fit for the Dodgers in Chase Headley.
Well, so what, right? The teams rarely trade with one another. But that’s why the gods created three-ways — shush, children — so think about this. Let’s say the Dodgers eat a considerable amount of Ethier’s deal, making him a 4/40 player or something similar, and can move him for two good (but not elite) prospects. Maybe that’s Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom from the Mets, or Allen Webster (hi!) and Mookie Betts from the Red Sox, or more likely none of those guys, because I’m just throwing darts at the wall here.
Sure, the Dodgers could just keep those guys and add them to the farm system. But maybe they could also take them and combine them with some non-Joc Pederson Dodger prospects like Chris Reed and Onelki Garcia to give the Padres a nice four-player package in return. Or if San Diego insists on Zach Lee, well, that’s fine, but maybe then you ask for them to toss in a Nick Vincent or someone for the bullpen too.
Likely? No, of course not. But it’s the week leading up to the winter meetings. Nothing is likely, and everything is.