MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Kemp to Padres, Justin Upton to Cubs
Could the Padres land Matt Kemp from the Dodgers? Can the Cubs convince Justin Upton to come to Chicago?
I previously wrote about a potential trade that could see Matt Kemp make his way to the Chicago Cubs.
The deal never panned out, and it seemed like Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein soured on what the Dodgers were asking for.
Kemp, the 2011 NL MVP runner-up, is still likely on his way out of L.A., but to a closer destination: San Diego.
The Padres have the young talent that L.A. wants in order to win now, and the Dodgers have the outfielder the Padres need. Both teams have been in extensive talks lately over a Kemp-to-SD deal.
But the front offices of the two California teams will need to be more creative if they want to get something done. That’s because, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes, the two teams’ needs don’t exactly line up.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2014
The Padres are looking to include catcher Yasmani Grandal as a centerpiece to a Matt Kemp deal, according to NBC Sports. Earlier murmurs suggested pitcher Matt Wisler, who was ranked as a top 100 prospect by MLB.com, might also be part of the deal, but the Padres have nixed that idea.
Newer reports have pinpointed Padres pitching prospect Zach Eflin as also a part of the deal to send to Los Angeles.
GM A.J. Preller and his front office, which is staffed with many who used to be in the Dodgers organization, are said to covet Kemp and are working tirelessly to figure out a trade. On the other side of the coin, some new Dodgers executives were also with the Padres before, so they should know the Padres’ minor league talent pool pretty well.
The Dodgers have been building up their outfield depth in anticipation of moving Kemp. In late November, they acquired outfielder Kyle Jensen from the Marlins. Last week, they added former Red Chris Heisey.
Newly minted Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday that a deal to send Kemp to San Diego wasn’t imminent.
“I think the information that’s coming out there may be driven more by either what people are hearing in snippets or what people want to believe we’re willing to do than what we’re actually willing to do,” Zaidi said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
If the Dodgers decide the Padres can’t give them the pieces they want, they have the Mariners and Orioles who are also in need of outfielders who can hit. The Dodgers have also been entertaining offers for veteran outfielders Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, but Kemp is by far the bigger catch, and teams know that.
Next page: The Cubs could land Justin Upton. There’s just one thing getting in the way of that.