The Los Angeles Dodgers are two games down to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 NLCS, but you’re not in trouble until you lose at home in a seven-game series. Nonetheless, it’s never too early to start looking toward the offseason, and the Dodgers will be a focal point again this winter.
Whether it’s in discussion for a top free agent, or a top trade chip (David Price), the Dodgers are constantly mentioned in the conversation. When this winter rolls around and the trading season gets underway, the Dodgers may very well boast one of the top trade chips of their own.
Though it’s not apparent now because of injury, the Dodgers boast a mighty crowded outfield. They have four starting caliber guys out there, with Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. At least one will be moved this summer, and it won’t be Puig.
Which leaves Crawford, Kemp, and Ethier. Of those three, the two most prominently mentioned in trade rumors at this point are Kemp and Ethier. While Ethier has been mentioned as a trade candidate in previous winters, Kemp offers up even more intrigue as a potential trade candidate.
Kemp has dealt with some injury woes over the last few years, particularly this season, which could only be described as a lost year for him. He’s dealt with a variety of issues, was ruled out of the postseason because of an ankle injury, and recently underwent shoulder surgery.
When healthy, though, you’re talking about a top ten talent in all of baseball. He’s an excellent athlete and a five-tool guy at a premium position out there in centerfield. He’s a player that nearly every single team in baseball would have on their wish list. And he’s under contract until 2020.
Some teams may shy away because of his recently checkered injury history, but the majority of teams will have interest in him. And the Dodgers could take back quite a haul. At the same time, though, do you deal a superstar in Kemp, or someone like Ethier, who is a top tier player, but not quite on Kemp’s level when the two are healthy?
This’ll be a situation to watch, and offers up even more intrigue for a Dodgers offseason that was already going to garner a great deal of attention.