It is the winter of baseball’s discontent, most of it involving money. Spring training is two weeks away, all of the top end free agents are still without contracts, and many members of free agency’s middle class remain unsigned, too. And then there’s the guy who is under contract for two more years, but has no idea at this point where he will be playing. Consider: This publication’s recent rundown of the Dodgers’ outfield situation going into spring training did not mention Matt Kemp. The assumption is that the Dodgers, who acquired Kemp from Atlanta in December primarily to shed the contracts of Adrian González, Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, are now actively working to trade Kemp and the two years and $43.5 million left on his eight-year contract. That original deal, incidentally, was signed in November, 2011, in the waning months of Frank McCourt’s ownership. Chew on that irony. Another assumption is Kemp would have to play left field if he stayed, due to his defensive deficiencies, but would have to elbow through a crowd to get there. Kiké Hernandez, Andrew Toles, possibly rookie Alex Verdugo, maybe Chris Taylor if Joc Pederson recaptures center field … they’ll be taking numbers for playing time. Is it wise to just assume Kemp won’t be around by the time everyone assembles at Camelback Ranch Feb. 19? His agent, Riverside-based Larry Reynolds, said this week there isn’t much to report on that front. He’s been talking to Dodgers executives Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi “every four or five days,” just checking in to make sure he and his client will be informed if something is indeed cooking. “There’s only so much I can do,” Reynolds said. “But at least I think they’re being really straightforward. What they’re saying, I can’t get into, but at least we’re having some dialogue.” That said, Reynolds also reported that Kemp is supremely motivated. “He wants to play for the Dodgers,” the agent said. “He wants to win a World Series. He’s gone out this offseason and changed his entire look. … He’s in top shape and he basically wants to come out and, whoever he’s with, prove everybody else wrong. That’s his mindset.” But how much is left in the tank? Kemp broke in with the Dodgers in 2006, at age 21. He became a regular in 2008, almost (and maybe should have) won the National League’s MVP award in 2011 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, a .324 average and a .986 OPS, and had 25 homers, 89 RBIs and a .287/.346/.506 slash line in 2014, his last Dodgers season.
Matt Kemp’s agent not sure what will happen with Dodgers, either
L.A. Daily News | Feb 1