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Dodgers still trying to trade Matt Kemp

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports speculates that the Dodgers are still hoping to offload Matt Kemp this winter. While no trade partners have been identified yet, Heyman adds that the team has reportedly narrowed it down to three or four “potential landing spots,” presumably teams that are also looking to jettison a bad contract of their own or willing to take a few choice prospects along with the veteran outfielder.

Kemp, 33, currently has two years and an unpalatable $43 million left on his contract. He’s about six years removed from his last productive season, but still managed to cough up a .276/.318/.463 batting line and 19 home runs in 467 PA with the Braves last year, even as his abysmal defense (fifth-worst among all major league outfielders, per FanGraphs) dragged his fWAR down to a career-worst -0.5 mark.

While the Dodgers may have some takers in mind, there may not be mutual interest in a deal given Kemp’s age, recent decline, clubhouse issues and sizable contract — no matter what the team uses to sweeten the deal. Just a month ago, the trade market for the outfielder was considered non-existent, and rumor has it that the Dodgers plan on releasing him if a deal can’t be struck sometime in the next few months.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.