Dave Stewart, who was best known in Boston as being Roger Clemens' daddy when he pitched (9-1 lifetime against the Rocket, including two wins for Oakland in the 1990 American League Championship Series), says in his 10 years as a player agent, he has never gone to baseball's winter meetings. But he plans to be in Orlando, Fla., next week. Why? Because Stewart represents Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, he has heard all the trade talk swirling around his celebrated client, some of that speculation involving the Boston Red Sox, and he has a "strong feeling something could happen" at the meetings. "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 a surplus of outfielders in newcomer Yasiel Puig, former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Kemp, who led the National League in home runs with 39 in 2011, falling one homer short of being a 40-40 man (he had 40 stolen bases), and was second in the MVP voting to the later-discredited Ryan Braun. They also have an up-and-coming center fielder in 21-year-old Joc Pederson. Kemp would undoubtedly be untouchable if he had stayed healthy and replicated that performance, but the past two seasons have been cut short by injuries, with Kemp having surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder after each of the last two seasons, and also undergoing surgery on his left ankle in October, 13 days after his second shoulder surgery. Stewart said that Kemp just recently began weight-bearing exercises on the ankle, will start hitting in January, and expects to be ready for the start of spring training. "There have been a lot of questions about his health, but he'll be ready to play," Stewart said. "He's worked hard to get in shape and get over these offseason surgeries." Boston's incumbent center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, just came to terms with the New York Yankees on a seven-year, $153 million deal. The Sox say they would be comfortable with rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. taking over in center, and that may indeed be the case. The Sox could just wind up adding a journeyman outfielder, as insurance for Bradley in case he falters and as another backup for Shane Victorino, who was limited in 2013 by hamstring and back issues to 122 games, the fewest he's played since becoming an everyday player in 2006. Or they could aim higher.
Matt Kemp's agent thinks trade could come
ESPN Boston | Dec 7