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Report: Kemp Deal to S.D. On The Verge

The rumored trade of Matt Kemp to the Padres is on the verge of completion, according to a report by Jon Heyman. The Dodgers would send Kemp to San Diego for catcher Yasmani Grandal and young pitchers Joe Ross and Zack Eflin. New Padres official Logan White drafted Kemp when he was scouting director of the Dodgers.

Shedding the remaining $107 million of Kemp’s contract would also make it easier for the Dodgers to afford the $100 million remaining on the contract of Phillies starter Cole Hamels, who would be acquired for young players and join a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy. — Ken Gurnick

Friedman Tight-lipped About Possible Moves

President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman wouldn’t address the Dodgers’ interest in free-agent pitcher Jon Lester or rumored trade proposals of Matt Kemp to the Padres or Andre Ethier to the Diamondbacks. But he reiterated previous comments that he wants to trade an outfielder and acquire a starting pitcher. Friedman said the “misinformation” of rumors is helpful so other clubs don’t know his true motives. Friedman addressed the media in the presence of club president Stan Kasten, former general manager Ned Colletti and former manager Tom Lasorda. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Not Close on Any Deal

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said he wasn’t close to any trades and basically said the club’s three top prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias — are untouchable. “At this point in time, we don’t want to trade any of the three — period,” he said. That essentially leaves the Dodgers out of deals for any elite starter rumored available (David Price, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels), and Colletti didn’t sound optimistic about landing a back-end starter or reliever by Thursday’s deadline, either. — Ken Gurnick

Hands Off Dodgers Prospects

One day before the trade deadline, the Dodgers continue to tell clubs they won’t trade their top three prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias. That means they aren’t expecting to land elite starters David Price, Cole Hamels or Jon Lester. Several players suggested John Lackey would be nice fit, but the front office might settle for relief help, which was the original priority anyway. — Ken Gurnick

More Dodgers pitching speculation

Ever since the deep-pocketed Guggenheim Partners bought the Dodgers, they’ve been linked with trading for just about every marquee name imaginable. Now Fox Sports speculates that the Dodgers are interested in Phillies lefty Cole Hamels, who would come with nearly $100 million left on his contract.

The club, however, has given no indication it wants to pick up that kind of contract and trade away any of its top three prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias — with a deal for an elite pitcher likely to cost at least two of them.

The Dodgers will continue to be linked with Hamels, David Price and Jon Lester as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

– Ken Gurnick

Kemp trade rumors, but no Kemp trade

Matt Kemp rumors are coming fast and furious, although the teams supposedly interested must still think the Dodgers are willing to give away the outfielder. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on Saturday indicated that wasn’t the case, implying that Triple-A prospect Joc Pederson isn’t yet ready for the Major Leagues, and a trade of any veteran Dodgers outfielder almost surely would be linked to the promotion of Pederson. Besides, the new outfield arrangement of Kemp in right, Yasiel Puig in center, Carl Crawford in left and Andre Ethier on the bench has produced two convincing wins over the Giants. It has never been Colletti’s history to replace a veteran with a rookie, anyway. The most recent exception was last year’s promotion of Puig, but that came during a rash of injuries. — Ken Gurnick

More Kemp Trade Speculation

CBSSports.com is the latest to speculate on an upcoming trade of Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, claiming five teams have “shown interest, or talked to” the Dodgers about Kemp, who has been unhappy since being moved out of center field. Dave Stewart, Kemp’s agent, was quoted as saying that “eight years is a long time to be in one place.” Stewart had predicted that Kemp would be traded at last year’s Winter Meetings. Trading Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford would allow the Dodgers to promote top prospect Joc Pederson to play center field. Manager Don Mattingly has said he might play Yasiel Puig in center and Kemp in right. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Looking, Not Finding

With a week before the trade deadline and the back end of the starting rotation taking on water, the Dodgers are not close on any transaction as they prepare for the weekend showdown series in San Francisco. The front office would move Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford to open a spot for top prospect Joc Peterson, but all three have huge contracts. Most trade partners want Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias, but management has resisted all inquiries for the system’s few jewels so far. The stalemate could drag into August, when more clubs become sellers and supply balances with demand. — Ken Gurnick

ESPN Links Dodgers and Papelbon

ESPN cited an unnamed baseball source that expects the Dodgers to pursue Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. If true, the Dodgers would be absorbing as much as $30 million in salary for the remainder of this year, next year’s guarantee and a vesting option for 2016. The Dodgers already have a closer in Kenley Jansen, but have indicated they would like to add another set-up reliever. The Phillies are eager to unload salary and the deep-pocketed Dodgers have quickly become the go-to club for salary dumps. The Dodgers, however, have no interest in trading top prospects Joc Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias. The ideal trade for the Dodgers would include moving one of their high-priced outfielders — Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier. — Ken Gurnick

Colletti Won’t ‘Tear Apart’ Farm System for Elite Pitcher

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he doesn’t expect to be acquiring an “elite” pitcher (in other words, David Price) because the cost would be multiple top prospects and “I don’t see us doing anything to tear apart our farm system.” The Dodgers top prospects are outfielder Joc Pederson, infielder Corey Seager and left-handed pitcher Julio Urias.

Colletti did say he’s on the lookout for pitching, as he is at the trade deadline every year. He has previously mentioned being in search of relief help, but acknowledged that the club needs “to be careful” with pitching in general. In recent weeks, starter Josh Beckett has gone on the disabled list with a hip impingement and Dan Haren has been inconsistent.  — Ken Gurnick

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