Quote of the Day: L.A. Times reporter on Kemp, Stewart

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T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times published an incredibly revealing article on Saturday night about the relationship between the Dodgers, their fans, Matt Kemp and agent Dave Stewart.

In it you’ll find Stewart as an overbearing and overly self-conscious agent and Kemp as a talented but confused 25-year-old.  Simers’ headline says it best: “Matt Kemp’s agent is an albatross around his neck.”  And here’s your quote of the day:

“Do you think for one moment I care about the town of L.A. or the fans there?” Stewart wrote in an e-mail.  [Kemp is] going to be a great major league player.  It
doesn’t have to be [in L.A.]. …The big picture is he doesn’t have to
play [in L.A.]. There are 29 teams out there.”

That kind of talk is fine for an impending free agent, but Kemp is under contract with the Dodgers for at least two more seasons.  Given the outfielder’s age and extraordinary level of talent, any sort of trade would be of the blockbuster variety.  And we don’t see many of those these days.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.