NL West rumors & news: Chase Headley, Matt Kemp, Dodgers

USA TODAY Sports

The trade rumors are still swirling around Chase Headley. Despite the Padres weak attempts to deflect the talks, a trade seems imminent. This and much more with the NL West rumors and news.

So you don't put much stock in small sample sizes, huh? Well, San Diego Padres' GM Josh Byrnes apparently does. His reasoning for claiming the team is not looking to trade Chase Headley right now stems back directly to two months worth of stats. And if a Major League GM says it, that means it's true. So quick, go catch up on all the small sample size stats you can find - wait, do it after you read this.

Here are your National League West news and notes:

Headley heading east?

You're a small market team who simply can't afford star power hitters. But wait, you have one developing right inside your clubhouse, on your field even. He's affordable and under team control. What do you do? If you're the Padres, it seems you do nothing.

  • New York wants every third baseman or first baseman out there. At least it seems that way based on the rumors. The clubs has previously said they would look through a pool of available 1B/3B since they can shift Kevin Youkilis as necessary. One such player in that pool (or not in it according to Byrnes) is Chase Headley. The Yankees are rumored to have approached the Padres about Headley.
  • Of course, New York was turned down because San Diego is intent on playing Headley out through free agency. Right? That's what they're doing isn't it? He could have been extended any time over the last two seasons. Or he could have been traded. His trade value will never be higher than it is now, but hey, he's part of a team that lead the National League in OPS+ for two months! For Josh Byrnes, that's good enough reason not to dump him.
  • In case you aren't confused enough by the Headley rumors, let me remind you that just two days ago the Padres were rumored to be listening to offers on Headley.

Kid gloves for Kemp

Matt Kemp had an injury-plagued 2012 season (the very same season in which he predicted 50 home runs and 50 steals for himself). Now, as we enter the middle of spring training, the Dodgers and Kemp are still taking things easy. The moral of this story? Don't make predictions. You'll just look like a fool.

  • The Dodgers plan to keep giving Matt Kemp as much rest as he needs says Bill Plunkett of the Los Angeles Times. The club has been giving him extra off days all while trying to at least get him some action at the plate. Don Mattingly said Kemp is still behind as far as finding his rhythm, but he'll get there.
  • In case you are one of those small sample size guys that we talked about earlier, don't freak out about Matt Kemp's spring stats. He's coming off a significant injury and is still trying to find himself. Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reminds us that this is no time to panic.
  • True Blue LA points out that yesterday marked the first time Kemp has played on three consecutive days. This was a big step forward for his recovery, but the Dodgers don't want to push him much further than that right now. They need him as healthy as possible for the regular season.

Dodgers notes

Beyond Matt Kemp's injury concerns, there were some other new-worthy topics coming from the land of the blue. The Dodgers have some injuries to contend with and some controversy to figure out.

  • Dodgers' pitcher Matt Palmer will undergo left knee surgery. He tore his meniscus while walking. Yep, while walking. The Dodgers' righty was walking after playing catch when he felt his knee lock up says Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
  • If you didn't see it, you need to watch the video. This is the type of thing I'm cool with you leaving my article for. Mexico and Canada brawled yesterday. Full-on brawled. And Luis Cruz was the instigator. After what he thought was an ill-timed attempt for a bunt-for-a-single by Canada, Cruz noticeably tells Mexico's pitcher to hit the next guys. Which he does. And the ruckus ensues. What Cruz forgot was that run differential counts in the World Baseball Classic, so bunting while up by six runs makes sense. No punishment is expected for Cruz, though.

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