SAN DIEGO -- We are in the second day of baseball's winter meetings, and the rumor that won't go away - and in fact is gaining traction - is Matt Kemp getting traded to the Padres for Yasmani Grandal. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman have the latest:
Sources: #Padres, #Dodgers working hard on Kemp deal, getting closer. LAD wants strong piece besides Grandal. SD’s Wisler one possibility.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2014
Source: Wisler "not in mix" in #Padres’ discussions for #Dodgers’ Kemp. RHP Joe Ross could be involved.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2014
padres keep talking about kemp. grandal, elfin have been discussed in potential package. http://t.co/u26MErhmGb— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2014
While it's important to note we don't know the full structure of the deal, a likely scenario has the Dodgers sending some money to offset the $107 million due Kemp over the next five years - Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated on MLB Network that the Dodgers would send $30 million to San Diego on Monday night - with the amount of money affecting the rest of the deal.
The right-handed pitchers mentioned above as possible for a deal are Zach Eflin (not Elfin) and Joe Ross, the latter the brother of Padres All-Star starting pitcher Tyson Ross.
Ross the younger was tabbed by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in the Padres' system prior to the 2014 season. He'll be 22 in May, and was a first-round draft pick in 2011, No. 25 overall.
Ross was 10-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 23 starts in 2014, with 19 of those starts coming in Class-A Lake Elsinore. Ross finished up the season in Double-A San Antonio with a 3.60 ERA in four games, including three starts, along with 19 strikeouts and just one walk in 20 innings.
"Since Joe is a good athlete, he can afford to speed up his delivery, which makes pitchers more aggressive," Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said. "You can do that with good athletes and Joe is a good athlete. I’m not saying he’s not a good competitor – because he is – but there can be a little more aggressiveness on the mound," Balsley told Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune in February. "He should have a little more aggression when he pitches."
Here is video of Ross from the 2014 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, per Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.
Eflin was a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 (drafted No. 33 overall) and will be 21 years old in April. Eflin was 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in the hitter-friendly California League in 2014, in 24 starts with Lake Elsinore, with 93 strikeouts and 31 walks in 128 innings. Before the 2014 season, Baseball America rated Eflin's changeup as the best in the Padres' system.
"He's just a kid at 20 but is very advanced for his age and has a really good idea of what he needs to do," said Lake Elsinore pitching coach Bronswell Patrick, per Fox Sports San Diego. "When he needs a groundball he can place the two-seamer where the batter doesn't want it or when he needs to reach back in the tank and turn it up for his four-seamer, he can do it to get the strikeout. That 92 can turn into a 97 really quick."
Here is video of Eflin from Big League Futures:
We don't know the rest of the deal, which could include more pieces. But for now, get to know the names of these players, who just might be headed to Los Angeles sometime soon.