Rangers join the Kemp talks

The Rangers are reportedly the latest team to engage the Dodgers in trade talks regarding outfielder Matt Kemp, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

In doing so, the Rangers join the Padres, Orioles and Mariners as the teams rumored to be interested in a potential Kemp trade. Though the Dodgers have downplayed any rumors to this point, it seems inevitable that they will move at least one outfielder this offseason and Kemp could garner a substantial return after his impressive second-half this past season.

The Dodgers currently have four outfielders (Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier) vying for the three starting spots. That’s before even taking into consideration highly-touted prospect — and fellow outfielder — Joc Pederson. The Dodgers also have outfielder Scott Van Slyke in a backup role and just acquired yet another outfielder in Chris Heisey earlier this week.

All things considered, it seems almost certain that Los Angeles will make a significant move at some point this offseason — but that’s about the only certainty right now. With more and more teams continuing to reach out to the Dodgers, the club is likely not in any hurry to settle for any particular offer.

Another factor that plays into the Dodgers’ favor is the fact that the majority of the top hitters in a relatively thin free agent class have already found new homes. The more interest the Dodgers can generate in Kemp, the better the ultimate return is likely to be.

— Paul Casella

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