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Dodgers, Padres continue discussing Matt Kemp deal; Yasmani Grandal in play

The 26-year-old backstop could be a part of the return package heading back to Los Angeles in the event that a deal for Kemp is struck with San Diego.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After initial discussions earlier this week, the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers remain engaged in trade talks involving Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kempaccording to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Per Rosenthal, the clubs have discussed a possible deal that would involve catcher Yasmani Grandal (and presumably more) heading to Los Angeles, with Kemp and additional cash on the move to San Diego. However, Rosenthal stresses that there is nothing imminent at the moment, as the Dodgers are still talking with other clubs, who very well may be in more advanced talks than the Padres are in.

With the Dodgers' glut of outfielders, and Kemp's rather pricy contract, Los Angeles has been oft-reported to be shopping the 30-year-old. Meanwhile, the Padres have been in search of a middle-of-the order hitter, making failed runs at Yasmany Tomas and Adam LaRoche, while also reportedly offering a nine-digit deal to Pablo Sandoval, indicating that the club could perhaps take on Kemp's contract, which has five years and $107 million remaining. Kemp would seemingly fit that elite hitter mold, as he has hit for a 147 OPS+ over the past four seasons.

For the Dodgers, Grandal would likely slot in as Los Angeles' starting catcher, supplanting the incumbent A.J. Ellis, who would probably be better used in a more limited role. Injuries and an HGH suspension have thus far hampered Grandal's ability to stay on the field, but he has been quite good when playing. Through 777 career plate appearances, the 2010 first rounder has hit .245/.350/.412 with a 120 OPS+ and 4.3 WAR. The Padres appear to have shopped Grandal "aggressively" so far this offseason, as San Diego is seemingly more interested in retaining Rene Rivera, with top backstop prospect Austin Hedges waiting in the wings. The 26-year-old Grandal is under club control through the 2018 season.

Kemp is coming off his first full season since 2011, and was quite good in his return, hitting .287/.346/.506 for a 140 OPS+ and .369 wOBA. However, he failed to top the 2.0 WAR mark by both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference, due to some atrocious play in the field. The two-time Gold Glove award winner was worth -23 runs according to defensive runs saved (DRS), and his -25.8 UZR/150 was similarly terrible. Granted, Kemp has been a fairly sub-par outfielder for much of his career, with an astoundingly bad DRS total of -84 over the past five years. Of course, the Padres would be acquiring Kemp for his offense, which he has consistently demonstrated to be elite.

As Rosenthal notes, numerous other clubs are currently in trade talks with the Dodgers regarding Kemp. The Orioles and Mariners have been among the teams to express interest, but talks with Baltimore went "nowhere", and Seattle may not have the payroll space to take on Kemp's contract.