Matt Kemp Trade Rumor Update: No Front Line Starters Involved


Can this be true? Are the Padres on the verge of picking up two-time All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp without giving up any of their big three pitchers or everyday starters?

That’s the latest from Jon Heyman at CBS Sports.

Heyman reports that the Padres are now the most likely team to land 2011 MVP runner-up Kemp, and states that one potential deal has backup catcher/first baseman Yasmani Grandal and 2012 first-round draft pick RHP Zach Eflin going to the Dodgers.

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At a time where every other trade rumor seems to include the Padres having to give up either Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, or Ian Kennedy, this trade looks extremely appealing. In fact, it looks like an absolute steal for the Padres. Grandal and Elfin are talented young players, to be sure, but neither has experienced significant success at the major league level. Grandal has hit only .224 in his two years with the Padres, and Eflin is only 20 years old, and finished 2014 in High A-ball at Lake Elsinore.

Kemp is a career .292 hitter in his nine-year major league career, and has topped 20 home runs five times, capped by a career-best 39 in 2011. The slugger carries a career .495 SLG, and would give the Padres their most legitimate power threat since Adrian Gonzalez was traded after the 2010 season.

Kemp finished 2014 very strong, putting up a .303 average with 17 homers and 60 RBI in the last half of the season. He would instantly become the most feared bat in the Padres lineup.

Grandal would give the Dodgers a slight offensive upgrade at catcher, with potential for more. While he has not been able to hit for average in his time with the Padres, he does have impressive power, going deep 15 times this past season. The Dodgers current catcher, A.J. Ellis, hit .191 with three home runs in 92 games last year.

Eflin was drafted by the Padres in the supplemental round after the first round of the 2012 draft, the 33rd pick overall. The 6’4” 200-pound righty, who features a good changeup to complement his low-90s fastball and slider, is listed as the 10th-best Padres prospect at He made 24 starts at Lake Elsinore this year, and put up a solid 3.80 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 128 innings. He is making consistent progress in the minors.

Padres GM A.J. Preller has stated repeatedly that he intends to bring impact players to San Diego, and it appears he is close to landing his first big fish in Kemp.