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Report: 'Nothing going on' regarding Red Sox trading for Matt Kemp

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Red Sox are not particularly close to trading for Matt Kemp.
The Red Sox are not particularly close to trading for Matt Kemp. (USATSI)

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Recent reports indicated the Red Sox were heavily scouting Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, but, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, there is "nothing going on" regarding a potential trade. There has been no progress made towards a deal.

The Red Sox have one of the least productive outfields in baseball in the wake of losing Jacoby Ellsbury to free agency and Shane Victorino to injury. Their outfielders have combined to hit .229/.304/.330 (75 OPS+) with only 10 home runs in 76 games. That works out to 1.0 WAR total, or 23rd among the 30 clubs.

Kemp, 29, is hitting .274/.333/.460 (121 OPS+) with seven home runs in 67 games this season. He missed most of last year due to a series of shoulder, hamstring and ankle problems. Kemp has not returned to his 2011 form (172 OPS+) but has more or less returned to his career average (126 OPS+). He could thrive as a right-handed hitter in Fenway Park.

The biggest obstacle to a Kemp trade is his contract. He is still owed another $10.5 million for the remainder of this season plus another $107 million from 2015-19. The Red Sox have activately avoided huge money, long-terms deals since dumping Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez on Los Angeles in 2012.

Even with Crawford injured, the Dodgers currently have Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig for their three outfield spots with Scott Van Slyke on the bench as an elite platoon option (against lefties). Dealing Kemp could free up some money and perhaps address some other needs on the infield and pitching staff.

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