Matt Kemp led the NL in runs, home runs, RBIs and total bases in 2011 but was runner-up for MVP. (Mark J. Terrill/AP).
Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp has battled numerous injuries since his MVP caliber 2011 season. Dave Stewart, Kemp’s agent, told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com on Friday that he thinks Kemp will be traded during the Baseball Winter Meetings.
Kemp had a fantastic 2011 season where he finished second in the NL MVP race, behind MVP winner Ryan Braun. He smacked 39 home runs, drove in 126 runs, Runs Batted In-RBI, hit for a .326 batting average and stole 40 bases, stolen bases.
Since 2011, Kemp has been an injury-prone player. He only played in 179 games during that time span.
Kemp’s injuries during the last two seasons contributed to him hitting a combined 29 home runs, getting 18 stolen bases and 99 RBI. His poor production during that time span may have contributed to his name being mentioned in trade rumors this offseason.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported on Nov. 8 that the Dodgers are open to trading one of the outfielders, including Kemp:
“That possibility, in fact, already is in the works; the Dodgers, according to major-league sources, are listening on Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, telling prospective suitors, ‘If you’re interested in one of them, make us an offer.’”
Out of these outfielders, teams are going to be most interested in Kemp. The reason why is because of his five-tool skill-set.
Kemp has proven when healthy that he can field, has great arm strength, hit for power, hit for average and steal bases. He would be a huge upgrade in center field for a lot of teams, including the Mariners, Red Sox and Texas Rangers.
Any team trying to trade for Kemp would have to take on his expensive contract. He is owed $128 million through the 2019 season. and he is 29-years-old
Trade rumors tend to intensify during the annual Baseball Winter Meeting because MLB executives, including General Managers, are able to discuss trade ideas. Stewart, a 10-year player agent, appears to be so sure about Kemp being traded that he is going to the event for the first time, according to Edes.
“This is the first time we’ve experienced this,” Stewart said. “This is the first time we’ve heard it this much, and the first time we really believe something could happen.”
The Dodgers have an immense amount of talent in the outfield with Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Ethier and Crawford. They will not trade Puig because he was such a dynamic player last season for the team and he is only 23-years-old.
The Baseball Winter Meetings will occur from Monday to Thursday in Orlando, Fla. The Dodgers may trade Kemp by the time the event has concluded.