Rumor Mill – Winter Meetings: Kemp, Ethier trade rumors + Dodgers seeking relievers + Uribe negotiations

WinterMeetings2013

The Winter Meetings are here, which means all the trade rumors the Dodgers have been involved in to date will only pickup further steam now. I’d expect a lot of rumors about Dodger outfielders, and a lot of trade talk that have the Dodgers as suitors. Whether said rumors are true or not is another thing entirely.

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The best way to start off a rumor mill is probably by going straight to Ned Colletti, who acknowledged that the quartet of outfielders has already been mentioned by opposing teams.

Colletti said he’s open to the idea of trading one of them. Each of the four — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig — have already come up in talks with clubs, Colletti said.

Speculation has connected Matt Kemp to the Red Sox, Rangers, and Mariners, but nothing further than that has materialized as yet. Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, made waves when he expressed that he expected Kemp to be dealt, but I’d remember the source. Stewart has a history of speaking up and basically doing PR for Kemp even when nothing serious has transpired, so take it with a grain of salt.

Andre Ethier has been another popular name, and he was recently connected to the Orioles.

Both Ethier and Kemp to the Orioles was indeed been discussed, but there were issues surrounding the salary being paid, via Roch Kubatko of MASN.

Also, the club remains linked to Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who was discussed on Monday before the Orioles shipped Jim Johnson to the Athletics for infielder Jemile Weeks and a PTBN.

The Orioles checked on the availability of Ethier and another Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp, but there were issues with the amount of salary that the Dodgers were willing to absorb, according to an industry source.

Doesn’t mean the Orioles are out, just that they’re involved and it shows that whatever interest in either Ethier or Kemp will depend on how much money the Dodgers are willing to eat.

Still think it makes no sense to move Kemp though.

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The next step for the Dodgers is to find as many as three relief pitchers for the bullpen, according to Colletti himself.

Colletti said he’s definitely in search of two more relief pitchers, and possibly a third, even after re-signing Brian Wilson to be a super setup man. The Dodgers need somebody to pick up the innings of non-tendered right-hander Ronald Belisario. And they need a left-hander, whether it’s the return of J.P. Howell or a replacement.

Part of that may involve former Braves lefty Eric O’Flaherty.

He underwent Tommy John surgery last May, so he probably won’t be back until this May and won’t be right until around the All-Star break. But that may be part of the interest, as he’s unlikely to fetch anywhere near the three-year deal that J.P. Howell is allegedly seeking.

O’Flaherty had a career 1.99 ERA with the Braves, and for his career he’s held lefties to a .200/.262/.269/.531 slash, so he fits the lefty specialist role perfectly when right.

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One other thing that should be a hot topic is the status of the Dodgers third base situation. Primarily what Juan Uribe will do.

If Uribe doesn’t want three years, I don’t have a real issue giving him a deal, and I’m hoping that gets done unless Chase Headley is going for real cheap or something.

About Chad Moriyama

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