Day 2 of the meetings was all about one player and one player only and his name is Jon Lester. Lester was expected to make his decision sometime on Tuesday and it was down to the Giants, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs. Later in the afternoon the Dodgers said that they were out on the chase. Just a few hours before Lester made his decision, he called the Giants informing them that he will not be heading to San Francisco. Late Tuesday evening, Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs for 6 years worth $155 million.
On Monday, the Padres had said they were close to signing Matt Kemp in a deal to send Grandal and others to Los Angeles. Those “reports” continued to swirl around on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings and on Twitter as if they were true. Zaidi said that the Kemp deal is “wishful thinking” on the media side of things. Let’s hope he is correct.
Trading Kemp, the last right-handed power bat in the Dodgers lineup, was not something I had imagined being on the Dodgers off-season to-do list. Kemp was easily one of the hottest hitters in the 2nd half of the 2014 season, powering the Dodgers into the 2014 postseason. “Most” Dodger fans would hate to see Kemp be traded, especially within the division.
Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi also said trading for or signing a SS before the winter meetings end is “very possible”. Earlier this off-season, the Dodgers talked to the White Sox about a possible Kemp/Alexei trade but couldn’t work out the money side of the trade. There are other shortstops on the FA market such as Jed Lowrie and Asdrubal Cabrera who could possibly be a Dodger in 2015. Cabrera played in 146 games last year, 97 with the Indians and 49 with the Nationals. He hit .241 totaled up between the two clubs. Cabrera’s glove is a hell of a lot better than his bat but the Dodgers would love to have another solid bat in the lineup. Lowrie hit .249 in 136 games in Oakland last year. I believe Lowrie flashes with the bat just as well as he does with the glove. It is good to have balance like that.
Something that may not have highlighted the day, Drew Butera was traded from the Dodgers to the Angels for cash considerations. Once the trade went through, I had a very strong feeling that the Kemp/Grandal deal would definitely go through, but you never know. Day 3 of the Winter Meetings is going to be full of surprises, let’s see if the Dodgers finally make a move. No need to rush though, right? Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to duty before we know and then Opening Day will be here.