The Blue Jays’ bold moves last offseason didn’t quite work out. It hasn’t stopped Toronto from thinking outside the box this winter, though.
According to Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca, the Blue Jays and Dodgers had discussions about Matt Kemp, who is believed to be available as Los Angeles looks to move an outfielder. The talks reportedly didn’t gain any traction, yet it’s a clear indicator that teams are willing to make a splash in an offseason that just saw the Tigers and Rangers swap a pair of All-Stars.
The snag in a Kemp-to-Toronto deal, according to Davidi, is that Kemp has six years remaining on the eight-year, $160 million deal he signed with the Dodgers, which is beyond the Blue Jays’ maximum of five-year deals. If Wednesday’s Prince Fielder-for-Ian Kinsler trade taught us anything, though, it’s that even blockbusters can come together rather quickly with the right motivation. It only took a day for the Tigers and Rangers to figure something out that worked for both sides.
There’s been plenty of talk about the Dodgers looking to move Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford. L.A.’s outfield is crowded, with Yasiel Puig also in the mix, and trading any of those three guys would likely net a good return given the caliber of each player. The problem — as is typically the case with big trades — is the finances, as each player has a rather sizable contract.
Kemp is coming off ankle surgery. He was limited to 73 games in 2013 and missed the entire postseason because of his injury. The 29-year-old hit just .270 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in those 73 games, but was the NL MVP runner-up in 2011, when he hit .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 40 stolen bases.