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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.

Cody Bellinger named NLCS MVP

Cody Bellinger
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Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.

Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.

Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.