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Dodgers trade Matt Kemp to Padres for Yasmani Grandal in 5-player deal, per reports

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- The most rumored deal of the winter meetings has finally happened, with the Dodgers trading Matt Kemp to the Padres in a five-player trade, per multiple reports.

Kemp is going to the Padres along with catcher Tim Federowicz for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and possibly pitcher Zack Eflin, per both Corey Brock of MLB.com and Kirk Kenney and Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Dodgers are also sending $32 million to the Padres to help cover part of the $107 million due Kemp over the next five years, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The deal has not yet been announced, nor confirmed by both teams, though Kemp has been notified of the trade per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Thus ends the Dodgers career of one of the best hitters in franchise history. Kemp, drafted by the team in 2003, hit .292/.349/.495, a 128 OPS+ with 182 home runs in parts of nine seasons in Los Angeles. The outfielder was injured for the bulk of 2012 and 2013 and was just okay in the first half of 2014, hitting .269/.330/.430 with eight home runs in 86 games.

But after the All-Star break, further removed from the two hamstring strains, two shoulder surgeries that sapped his power and an ankle surgery that robbed much of his speed, Kemp went off in the second half. He hit .309/.365/.606 with 17 home runs in 64 games, looking much like the near-MVP year in 2011 that saw Kemp hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs.

Though defensively Kemp was still well below average, and finally demoted from center field in 2014. After a brief and contentious move to left field he eventually settled in right field, his old position from his early years with the Dodgers. With the emergence of Joc Pederson, who many in the organization feel is the best center fielder on the 40-man roster, moving Kemp allows the team to move Yasiel Puig back to his natural right field, improving the team defensively at two positions, and depending on how Pederson hits (or the combination of Pederson and the right-handed Chris Heisey), the club could mitigate some of the offensive loss of Kemp. Some.

"Our ability to score runs is so intertwined with our ability to prevent them that there is a connection there. I'd be okay if we scored 200 runs if we allowed 100, just going to a crazy example. I'd be okay if we allowed 900 runs if we scored 1,300," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Monday. "It's about us trying to construct the best 25-man roster we can, with the requisite depth behind it, to put us in the best position to start the season."

The team will also gain on offense and defense with Grandal, who hit .225/.327/.401, a 112 OPS+ in 2014, with 15 home runs and 19 doubles in 128 games, including 76 games behind the plate and 37 at first base. In his limited time behind the plate - 157 career games - he has been rated as 30 runs above average in framing pitches, ranking among the top 19 in baseball in each of the last three years.

In parts of three major league seasons the 26-year-old has hit .245/.350/.412, a 120 OPS+, with 24 home runs and 34 doubles in 216 games. Grandal was also suspended 50 games to start 2013 for testing positive for testosterone, and was linked to the Biogenesis scandal. Later that year he missed the final 74 games after reconstructive ACL surgery in his right knee.

The switch-hitter has better numbers from the left side, hitting .252/.356/.424 in his career compared to .225/.335/.379 from the right side.

Current Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes was the general manager in San Diego who traded Mat Latos to the Reds in December 2011 for Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger.

Grandal has two years, 115 days of service time, and will be eligible for salary arbitration after 2015.

It is impossible to judge this trade without seeing the Dodgers' end game, which is believed to be a pursuit of a frontline starting pitcher - like Cole Hamels of the Phillies - using some of the prospects acquired from the Marlins and Padres.

But for now, all we know is that Kemp is gone, and the Dodgers are in the midst of one of the most remarkable two-day roster makeovers in some time.