The Boston Red Sox are less than 30 days out from winning the World Series, but the business of baseball never seems to slow down as a result, there is at least one report that they could be interested in making a major splash in the off-season.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) November 22, 2013
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have contacted the Los Angeles Dodgers about the services of outfielder Matt Kemp. It’s important to note that LA has been quick to deflect attention away from Kemp’s potential availability by saying that they aren’t shopping him, but that hasn’t stopped multiple teams from inquiring about his services.
It’s been a “down” period of two years for Kemp, but at just 29 years old, he has flashed an MVP-caliber upside that makes him very attractive despite his massive contract. During the 2011 season, Kemp nearly went 40-40 with 39 home runs and 40 steals, and when he’s been healthy over the past two seasons, he’s been fairly productive.
The obvious “need” on Boston’s side seems to be arising on the basis that Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston’s incumbent center fielder) is commanding a massive salary as the top free agent outfielder on the market. Ellsbury has his own set of injury concerns, and if both players are healthy, it would be tough to argue that Kemp isn’t the better player between the two. In addition, Kemp’s contract (6 remaining years at $128 million) looks like a relative bargain against some of the crazy figures being thrown around for Ellsbury, Robinson Cano, etc. this off-season, and if Boston assumes health on the Dodgers outfielder, they’d snap that deal up almost instantly.
It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes from these discussions, but it would also be a fairly significant surprise to see Kemp in another uniform for 2014.