According to a report by Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Boston Red Sox have considered a trade that would send Jon Lester to the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for OF Matt Kemp.
With the Dodgers unwilling to part with top prospect Joc Pederson, the Red Sox have at least considered the idea of bringing Kemp to Boston. The Dodgers currently have 5 OF’s for 3 spots and have been shopping around Kemp with at least five teams showing interest.
Kemp, who is now playing RF every day it seems, made it clear that he wants to be starting everyday for a ball club, which he is for the Dodgers, and his preference is to play CF. Kemp’s agent Dave Stewart stated that Kemp doesn’t necessarily want to leave the Dodgers, but he would prefer to play CF for any team. Well, it seems as though the Red Sox may be considering this option.
So far this year Kemp has posted a .273/.339/.429/.768 slash line, with 8 home runs, which is a far cry from his near MVP season in 2011. Kemp has been injured off and on for the past 2.5 seasons, though he has remained healthy for most of 2014.
In order for any trade to happen involving Kemp, the Dodgers would likely have to eat a large portion of the more than $100M left on his contract that runs through 2019.
The Dodgers have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball already, what with Clayton Kershaw doing Clayton Kershaw things and all. Not to mention the presence of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. However, Lester has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the course of the last 5 years and would easily make the Dodgers starting rotation the best in baseball, if it’s not already.
Lester is a free agent after this season and has stated his desire to remain with the Red Sox. Lester has said that even if he is traded from the team this year he would like to re-sign with the Red Sox in the offseason. Essentially, Lester would be no more than a two-month rental for the Dodgers, which certainly limits the amount the Dodgers would give up to get Lester.
Would the Dodgers pay $50M or more to cover Kemp’s salary, plus lose a player of Kemp’s prowess for a two-month rental? Is Jon Lester worth it? These are questions Ned Colletti is going to have to answer over the next couple of days. The MLB Trade Deadline is looming.
For now though, Colletti is playing it cool.
“You know what? We may not do anything,” Colletti said, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “We’ve still got a club that’s solid, that still has upside to it, so I think there’s still more in this club. Have we won four in a row yet? I think there’s still a strong run in this club as it’s currently constituted. That said, we’ve been historically active in July and August, sometimes, and we’ll continue to see what else we can do.”