The July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline is drawing near. Are you ready for the noise? It can be deafening.
It’s already well underway, and inevitably trades will be made and the Dodgers will be involved in some fashion, but it probably would be wise to stay clear of all that Matt Kemp noise.
The volume was turned up last week when his agent, Dave Stewart, told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that Kemp would not be opposed to a trade. It got a little louder a day later when Kemp told The Times’ Dylan Hernandez, “I want to play every day, if it's with the Dodgers, if it's with somebody else.” And it grew louder still when Stewart told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman on Friday, “Sometimes change is good. This might be time to change.”
Any more noise and Joshua’s army would be bringing down the walls of Jericho. I guess it makes good copy or fine pontificating for an agent, but reality seems a step very much removed.
True, Kemp is the player most openly disgruntled about the Dodgers’ five-man outfield. He is the only one making demands over playing time and which position he should be playing -- it’s center, if you hadn’t heard. And five healthy outfielders is clearly too many.
The Dodgers reportedly are mentioning Kemp’s name in discussions of potential trades, and at least five teams have shown interest. Nothing surprising there. No doubt the Dodgers are mentioning Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford too, but that doesn’t mean any of them will actually move. The Dodgers would be derelict in their duty if they weren’t talking about them.
But the likelihood that any will actually be dealt is extremely remote. Kemp is still owed approximately $118 million on that eight-year, $160-million contract he signed with the Dodgers. No team is going pick that up, given the way he’s played the last three years. And the Dodgers are not going to eat half of it just to move him.
It’s all noise.
Maybe Stewart is making his client happy with such talk, which is swell. And maybe Kemp and the Dodgers would be better off at this point with a trade. But none of that makes it more real.
For all this crying about Kemp’s playing time, it should be noted he started Friday against the Giants, which means he’s started 49 of the Dodgers’ last 51 games. What is there to really cry about? By his own admission, he wasn’t playing well defensively in center.
All this noise is coming from Kemp and his camp. At this point, the Dodgers and Kemp would be better served if he stowed the complaints and just played. Or I should say, played at a level closer to someone still scheduled to earn another $118 million.